National Business Awards 2012: Winners Announced

The winners of the National Business Awards, 2012, have been revealed but not before the ceremony was opened with a video speech from Prime Minister David Cameron who said to the 1,200 strong crowd of business leaders:

“It is people like you who are helping us lift our economy out of a very difficult time and who’ll help make sure that Britain doesn’t just compete in this global race, but really thrives in it. I want to thank-you for everything you’re doing and I want to congratulate everyone for being recognised at the National Business Awards.”

An address from Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, followed:

“The Government is delighted to support this year’s National Business Awards. As a celebration of the very best in British business, they are a valuable opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of UK companies – from micro businesses to multi-nationals – in achieving the success which drives economic growth.”

Now in its eleventh year, the National Business Awards, sponsored by telecoms company Orange, had 17 winners in as many categories, with many of them being household names;

WH Smith’s CEO, Kate Swann, won The Daily Telegraph Award for Decade of Excellence in Business.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK & Ireland, accepted his Orange Leader of the Year award.

Retailers Marks & Spencer, who announced their 5 year plan to go green back in 2007, received the ICAEW Sustainability Award.

In the SME sector, Trunki, who were famously savaged and rejected by both Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis in the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, won the Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year award. Rob Law, who was told by Dragon Jones, back in 2006:

“Your company’s currently worth nothing to me; I’m out!”

scooped the prize not as the CEO, but as “Trunki’s Daddy” as it says on his business card.

Law was commended by the National Business Award judges for working with and around restraints and for showing a real commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Rob has moved production of Trunki from China to Britain and all his products are now being produced in an injection moulding factory in Devon.

Another notable small business winner was Paul Lindley, the founder of Ella’s Kitchen, makers of 100% organic baby food. Ella’s kitchen picked up the 3i-sponsored International Growth Business of the Year Award. Ella’s kitchen have expanded into new markets around the world as parents consider the health benefits of organic food for their babies.

Martin Stiven, Vice President of Business at EE (Everything Everywhere), the company behind Orange, T-Mobile and EE, the new super fast 4G brand, said of this year’s awards:

“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. The entries are truly remarkable and demonstrate the considerable breadth of inspirational companies that we have in Britain today. They are shining examples of how industry champions are pushing this nation forward with bold innovation and impressive leadership, both of which we believe strongly about at EE.”

For the full list of winners visit the National Business Awards website.

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