The heroes of British business 2007

Innovative Company of the Year

Multimap: Sean Phelan’s online mapping outfit gets more hits than any other supplier. Boasting a 2006 turnover of £9.5m and an impressive client list including Tesco, Royal Mail and Virgin, Multimap has yet to take a wrong turning.

Texperts: Pub quizzes will never be the same again. Not now that Texperts answers any question direct to your mobile in minutes. The Cambridge-based business is growing at 20 per cent a month in a marketplace worth £4.8bn. This one’s a no brainer!

Broadbean Technology: Don’t wear your fingers to the bone posting job ads on hundreds of employment sites, get Broadbean to do it for you. The London-based firm even monitors the success of your campaign to make the process completely painless. Five years down the line, Broadbean’s business model has stood the test of time: repeat business is at 97 per cent.

IT Lab: Tour very own hassle-free IT department, complete with live chat, two-hour call out and 24-hour service desk? Nifty! Despite having to constantly reinvest in technology, this London-based business is firmly in the black with gross profits of £1.6m on a £3.9m turnover.

Young Company of the Year, an online manufacturer and supplier of sports nutrition products, has consistently recorded yearly sales growth in excess of 250 per cent. The company promises the lowest prices in the EU but that hasn’t stopped turnover reaching £2.2m. 

Streetcar is a car club with a difference, offering an alternative to car ownership. Its 20,000 members can rent a car for any time upwards from half an hour. Streetcar, which posted £5m annualised turnover in 2007, is gunning for 250,000 members by the end of 2012.

Regenatec: Biofuel technology company Regenatec has developed a system allowing diesel engines to operate on renewable pure plant oil. After nearly three years of R&D, the company is now starting to exploit its sales pipeline.

The book depository’s mission is to make all books available to all people and it’s turning out to be a profitable exercise. The online book retailer has achieved turnover of £24m, making it one of the ten largest booksellers in the UK.

Thebestof is the online version of a newsagent’s window, championing the best local companies and providing news and information on events. The business directory and community website franchise has annual turnover of more than £5m.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Simon Mansell: Founding an internet business in 2001 in the wake of the disastrous dotcom bubble is no mean feat. Mansell’s gamble paid off. He saw returns of £1.7m on his £30,000 investment in the first twelve months. His company, TBG London, is on target to double turnover this year to £25m, turning a virtual advertising agency into real-world success.

Tom Chalmers: At 27, the founder of Legend Press is the youngest mainstream fiction publisher in the UK. It’s a tough market and Chalmers found his niche back in 2005 revitalising the short story. Now, Chalmers is hitting the fiction industry head on, launching the “Read Generation” campaign to raise Legend’s profile as a student publisher.

Alisha Lyndon started Logical Results at the tender age of 19. She’s taken the telemarketing agency from a standing start to a £1.8m turnover in five years, with offices in the UK, Belgium and Australia.

Oliver Bishop started Steak Media in 2005. He has grown the company nearly 400 per cent in the last year alone and his digital marketing agency now runs campaigns for the likes of John Lewis, Time out and FCUK, pulling in a £14.5m turnover this year. His secret? “Hard work, hard work, hard work!”

Dan McGuire ran job-posting company Broadbean Technology on his £35,000 overdraft for the first two years. Broadbean is now pulling in sales of £2m, up 110 per cent from 2005. Clients sign yearly contracts to keep the firm cash-rich, funds that will fuel an aggressive global expansion over the next two years.

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