Organisations shortlisted this year range from the well-known Debenhams, JD Wetherspoon, moneysupermarket.com, Harvey Nash and Stannah – through to the rising stars of Ovo Energy, Door-Stop, ShortList Media and HeartSine Technologies.
The combined turnover of all finalists this year was £96bn, – if the National Business Awards finalist organisations were a country they would be a top 50 country in the world just behind Romania and ahead of New Zealand. Almost three times the size of Luxembourg.
Martin Stiven, Vice President of Business at Orange, part of Everything Everywhere, said: “The National Business Awards, now in their tenth year, embody the core principles of business excellence, innovation and ethics, all of which are central to Orange’s company values.”
Stiven went on to say: “Reaching the finals of the National Business Awards is no mean feat and I am delighted that the calibre of entrants keep on improving. All finalists have demonstrated exceptional drive, resilience and innovation during challenging economic conditions. Many congratulations to all finalists and best of luck with the next stage of the competition, I very much look forward to the live judging in September and October.”
While there were plenty of examples of aggressive growth among all entrants, through acquisition as well as organic, the finalist organisations that stood out were those taking steps to ensure growth is sustainable – innovating to become leaner and concentrating on core strengths rather than over-diversifying.
There was a notable increase in the proportion of smaller businesses across all categories, and many that had launched within the last two years. The fastest growing were in e-commerce, cosmetics, digital media, mobile apps, and gourmet food.
Finalist will now prepare to make their presentations in person before an independent, expert judging panel in September and October with judges including Julie Meyer, CEO, Ariadne Capital; Sherry Coutu, Investment Committee, Nesta; Martin Stiven, VP of Business at Orange, part of Everything Everywhere; Mr Eric Van der Kleij, Chief Advisor to UK Government’s Directorate for Investment, UK Trade & Investment; Martin McCourt, CEO, Dyson; Sir Roger Bone, President, Boeing UK; Simon Calver, CEO, LOVEFiLM and Richard Alvin, Group MD, Capital Business Media – publishers of Business Matters.
Winners will be honoured at the National Business Awards gala dinner, organised by UBM plc, at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, Tuesday 8th November, where George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver this year’s welcome address.