A strong shortlist has been announced for the only awards to honour small and medium businesses across Yorkshire.
This year’s shortlist includes 32 businesses, covering everything from start-ups to well-established businesses, and even a 17-year old entrepreneur, Eve Lodge of Barnsley-based, Barmy Bunting.
A director of one of last year’s winners, Vicky Nolan of Halifax-based Circuit Electrical, features on the shortlist in a personal capacity this year in the New Generation category for entrepreneurs under 35.
Vicky is joined on the shortlist by 20-year old Ben Lawton of Customer Controllers, whose business was born out of a need to fund his university studies, Andrew Robinson of Leeds-based Mr Flyer, who set up his business in 2011 from his friend’s back room with just £50, and James Howard of Brighouse-based Yorkshire Payments who took himself from a Wolverhampton council house, to running a company turning over hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Darren Shaw, founder of BiY and chair of the judging panel, said: “It was genuinely inspiring to read all of the entries and hear how Yorkshire SMEs are thriving and working with some of the biggest names not just in the UK, but in the world.
“The BiY Inspired Awards are the only ones honouring small and medium businesses across Yorkshire and those shortlisted really are at the top of their game.”
Fellow judge Louise Turner of Awards Writers, who also created the awards, said: “Some of the decisions we’ve made on which entries to shortlist were a really tough call, which just shows what a high standard the entries were. “I’m proud and delighted to be involved in a set of awards which showcases what Yorkshire’s often-overlooked small and medium businesses have to offer and can’t wait to see all the worthy finalists in October.”
This year’s final judge, Johanne Bettley, of Winning Pitch, the organisation who manage the Business Growth Service’s Growth Accelerator programme in Yorkshire, added: “As an organisation, we’re committed to helping small businesses in Yorkshire achieve their growth and ambitions. I’m delighted to have been asked to be part of the judging, to see first-hand what an incredibly buoyant sme business economy we have in our region at present”.
The awards attracted a large number of entries from all over Yorkshire and are made up of eight categories:
Ambition – for business of four people or less Transformation – for businesses of 5-50 people New Generation – for entrepreneurs under 35 Solopreneur – for people running businesses on their own Super Staff – for a person or team providing exceptional service One To Watch – for businesses on the cusp of great things Out Of Their League – for small and medium businesses with big-name clients on their list Rock Star Customer Service – for businesses offering that extra something which keeps clients coming back again and again
The full shortlist is: Ambition Award: For the business that can demonstrate ambition in its plans, structure and strategy Red Kite Services Pepamint Bright Ethics Barmy Bunting
Transformation Award: For the business that has reacted to its market and transformed its offering and services into what its customers want to buy Siberia B.C Ltd CCTV Direct Circuit Electrical Cars on Demand Deans Computers
New Generation Award: This award recognises the most dynamic business owner under the age of 35 Ben Lawton – Custom Controllers Vicky Colbeck – Circuit Electrical Andrew Robinson – Mr Flyer James Howard – Yorkshire Payments
Rockstar Customer Service Award: For the business that makes their customers feel like stars TLC Accountants Pixelbuilders Alexandra House Spa Crazy Wolf Productions Hydra Creative
Out of their League Award: For the business that bats out of its league and keeps those household names coming back for more Union Pixelbuilders 100% Effective BGM Logistics
One to Watch Award: For the business on the cusp of great things Ukra-Link Mr Flyer Vale Radio Barmy Bunting
Solopreneur Award: For the person that has identified a niche and is effectively filling it by themselves McFade Photography InFlow Training Campfire Communications Barmy Bunting
Super Staff Award: This award is for the business who have a person or team who go ‘above and beyond the call of duty. FDS Director Services Diane Watson Financial Planning