Hosted by Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan, the National Business Awards welcomed Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie as keynote speaker, and featured an opening address from Prime Minister David Cameron as well as entertainment from impressionist Rory Bremner.
The winners across all 17 categories included IKEA UK, which won the ICAEW Sustainable Business Award; ITV was crowned QBE FTSE 100 Business of the Year; Bulldog Skincare for Men emerged victorious as Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year; and Emma Cerrone won the inaugural Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year award. PolyPhotonix received the Market Gravity Innovation Award; Steelite International triumphed as Employer of the Year; and Stephen Fitzpatrick of OVO Energy beat strong competition to be named The Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year. *see footnotes for all winners
Moya Greene, CEO of Royal Mail, was voted Ashridge Business School Leader of the Year for successfully leading the transformation of the 350 year old organisation. Moya led the flotation of Royal Mail three years after becoming its CEO – the biggest privatisation in almost 30 years. This prestigious accolade is judged in part by the public and a peer ballot of 40 executives and thought leaders. The award was designed with Ashridge Business School with judging criteria focusing on transformational leadership.
The Awards’ distinguished Advisory Board honoured Justin King, former CEO of Sainsbury’s, with the Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business for delivering 34 quarters of consistent growth and his legacy of embedding sustainability within the business and its supply chain.
The National Business Awards also named four Future Champions – an accolade to recognise finalists that came close to winning their category. These included big data firm Experian for the Santander Corporate Citizenship Award and premium pet food manufacturer MPM Products in the Inflexion International Growth Business of the Year category. **see footnotes for all future champions
The Prime Minster opened proceedings at the ceremony with a message for this year’s finalists. He told the audience: “I want to send my best wishes to everyone at the National Business Awards and to thank all those who have been shortlisted because, from the smallest start-up to the biggest multinational, you are creating the growth and jobs that are turning this country around.
“ As these awards show, you’re not just helping to give families security and stability, you’re helping society – by encouraging citizenship among employees; helping the environment – by making your businesses sustainable; and helping make everyone’s day a little better – by putting customer service at the forefront of what you do.”
Alex Evans, Programme Director for the National Business Awards, said: “It’s always fascinating to see who will emerge victorious with such diverse and strong competition across all of our Award categories. Showing that any type and size of organisation can win a National Business Award, this year’s winners demonstrate the value of continually investing in people, innovation and customer service – also proving the business case for sustainability and corporate citizenship.”
Dame Helen Alexander, Chair of Judges, said: “Chairing the National Business Awards’ judging panel has once again demonstrated that British businesses are continually evolving, innovating and improving across all industries. I congratulate all of the worthy winners, as well as our Future Champions and all finalists, for demonstrating the attributes necessary to grow their businesses and thus the UK economy.”
For more information and to find out how to register your business for the 2015 National Business Awards, visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk.
The National Business Awards supports the Prince’s Trust, a charity offering practical and financial support to young people who need it.