Britain’s outstanding nationwide SME’s recognised in glittering award’s ceremony.
The inaugural British Champion Awards, developed as a life-long dream from Group Managing Director of Capital Business Media, Richard Alvin, speaking after the event, he was thrilled with the results: ‘with our Business Matters brand we’ve always supported and profiled the incredible work that our country’s SME’s do, so organising an annual awards to celebrate and reward these hardworking business owners seemed like such a natural progression.
‘Our journey to bring the Business Champion Awards to life, has been a challenge over the past year, however to see everyone here and feel the pride in the room for all their achievements has made it all completely worthwhile.’
And what a celebration of national businesses it was …
Guests walked the red carpet and were welcomed into the East Wintergarden in the heart of Canary Wharf, a venue chosen to reflect the award’s green values as a carbon neutral and sustainable location. With a jazz trio to complement the drinks reception, without exception every guest had donned their evening wear and was ready to enjoy the full evening of entertainment, fine dining and awards … with of course, a few surprises.
Electric drummers signalled the start of the event, followed by an opening speech on the importance of original stories for businesses by Business Matters’ Associate Editor, Cherry Martin.
Richard Alvin was next on the stage to give his personal welcoming speech, in which he also announced the Business person of the year Michelle Ovens CBE. Voicing the event was none other than the original voice of Siri, John Briggs, which earnt a solid round of applause.
Dinner was then served alongside a silent auction which raised £10,000 of vital funds for the event’s lead charity partner: Mind.
Guests were then treated to a surprise comedy act by regular stars of TV show, Mock the Week, Tiff Stevenson and Maisie Adam. Both comedians performed an individual set, before returning to the stage to do a ‘Things You Wouldn’t Normally Hear at an Award’s Ceremony’.
The nation’s favourite news broadcaster, Huw Edwards from the BBC, then took to the stage to lead the events. Delivering a witty speech, Huw then completely captured the audience’s hearts with a heartfelt tribute to Mind charity and his own points of struggle during the pandemic.
Then it was time for the awards. Each award was introduced by Huw and presented by one of the award’s 40 strong team of judges. Including a range of UK business leaders including Phil Jones MBE, MD of Brother UK; Alex Robson, founder of Soho Gin, and Charlie Mullins OBE, who has just exited Pimlico Plumbers in a £150m deal.
The trophies themselves were produced in the UK using fully sustainable wood sources and methods. Each of the winners will also have ten trees planted in their region to further exemplify and inspire the reach of the Business Champion Awards’ values.
The winners to be announced by category were:
New Business of the Year
Champions in a Crisis
Business Innovation of the Year
Growth Business of the Year
SME Business of the Year
Exporter Business of the Year
Sustainable Business Award
Diversity & Inclusion Award
Winner – Channel 4
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Winner – Raissa & Joyce De Haas – Double Dutch Drinks
Entrepreneur of the Year
Outstanding Achievement Award
Winner – Michelle Ovens CBE
Summing up his thoughts on the night, Richard Alvin said: ‘Congratulations to all of the winners, silver and bronze trophy holders. They were all outstanding in their presentations and business mindsets, values, figures and methodologies.
‘Every single one of the finalists should be incredibly proud to have been shortlisted and present on the night. Out of 5.6 million SME’s, making up 99% of the country’s businesses, to make it to the finals is no mean feat and is an achievement to be incredibly proud of.
‘Huw has already confirmed his involvement for next year’s awards when they return once again to the East Wintergarden on March 22nd 2023. My team and I are already excited to launch the 2023 Business Champion Awards, on the 16th June at London’s iconic Tower Bridge.’