Awards celebrate Britain’s most inspiring small businesses

The Small Awards in May celebrated a variety of small businesses who have stood out over the past year, in an online awards ceremony.

Britain’s most inspiring small businesses were honoured in a ceremony that increasingly stunned guests, as 11 traders from across the UK were presented with trophies on their doorsteps.

From a fashion designer pioneering inclusive fashion, to covid community heroes who stepped up to support health-workers and provide vital food suppliers, this year’s Small Awards celebrated the UK’s greatest small firms.

Scrubbies UK, Small Business of the Year award

Businesswoman Kerry Mackay from North Wales won ‘Small Business of the Year‘, for her inspiring story of starting up eco-friendly cleaning pad business Scrubbies UK after she was forced to rely on food banks.

Kerry went on to turn over £50,000 in her first year, without any outside funding. She now sells her reusable, compostable sponges wholesale across Europe and is expanding manufacturing through local prisons, to help offenders improve their skills.

Simply Noir, New Kid on the Block award

New start-up Simply Noir which supports UK black-owned independent businesses, also won the ‘New Kid on the Block’ award after it attracted 60 sellers to its platform in six months.

Nemi Teas, Mission Possible award

London’s Nemi Teas won the ‘Mission Possible’ award for best social enterprise. Founded in 2016, it solely employs refugees, helping them to gain work experience.

The eight other fantastic winners announced at the Small Awards included:

Ma Baker, Heart of Gold award

London micro bakery Ma Baker won the ‘Heart of Gold’ award due to owner Liz Wilson’s efforts during lockdown. Liz delivered fresh bread to those self-isolating, as well as baking for her local food bank, providing online classes for budding bakers and mentoring those she had trained. 

Kintsugi Clothing, Digital Star award

Disability-conscious fashion designer Kintsugi Clothing won the ‘Digital Star’ award for its successful digital marketing strategy which helped it grow and fill an important gap in the market.

Ethos Nursing, At Your Service award

Nurse Samantha Styles-Hudson won the ‘At Your Service’ award for how her business Ethos Nursing supported care homes to improve performance and cope in the pandemic.

Windsor Carriages, Legacy award

Heritage family business Windsor Carriages, which has offered horse-drawn tours of Windsor’s Great Park since 1849, won the ‘Legacy’ award for its longstanding success. 

Mad Lilies, High Street Hero award

Surrey florist Mad Lilies won the ‘High Street Hero‘ award, sponsored by TSB, for its contribution to Banstead and support of other local businesses. 

Lucy Kemp Jewellery, Bricks and Clicks award

Lucy Kemp Jewellery won the ‘Bricks and Clicks’ award for its multi-channel approach. Lucy’s unique designs are crafted in Cornwall for retail and wholesale customers. 

Local e Sourced, Net Hero award

Sustainability success story Local e Sourced – an online marketplace for Herefordshire’s independent businesses – won the Small Award’s inaugural ‘Net Hero’ award for its commitment to the environment.

David A Parker, Supply Champion award

Staffordshire food supplier David A Parker was awarded ‘Supply Chain Champion’ award for the collaborative relationships it has developed over many years. During lockdown they ensured local businesses were well stocked to meet customer demand.

“To be recognised with a Small Award is amazing and I’m really humbled, especially given I was up against some incredible businesses,” said Kerry Mackay, founder of ScrubbiesUK.

“Two years ago my son and I were in desperate poverty, and I decided to claw my way out of that situation. It’s been a tough road to get to where I am now – particularly with the pandemic and schools being off.

“I’ve been sewing at my table for ninety hours a week. But my small business is branching out in so many exciting directions and I’m now more determined than ever to reach my goals.”

In its fifth year, the Small Awards is organised annually by Small Business Britain, which champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK.

“The Small Awards is all about celebrating the uniquely special and amazing contribution of small firms, which has never been more apparent than in the last year,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain. 

“All small businesses should be proud of the way they have coped during this pandemic, but special congratulations must go to our amazing winners who have inspired us all! We are so delighted to have delivered such a fun event, and to have managed to take an online event to the next level with so many door-step surprises!”  

You can learn more about the awards and nominate someone for next years event on the Small Awards website.

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