National Business Awards winners announced


On a night of triumph for UK plc, the best British businesses gathered to celebrate excellence, innovation and ethics at the ninth annual National Business Awards in partnership with Orange at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Opening the ceremony with a video message recorded before jetting off to the G20 Summit, Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated all of the finalists recognised by this year’s Awards saying they were an inspiration not only to the business community but those in government trying to support recovery.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, delivered the keynote speech to 1,200 of the country’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs in attendance, including Johnson Matthey’s Sir John Banham, Co-op’s Peter Marks, the National Trust’s Dame Fiona Reynolds, and Tesco’s Sir Terry Leahy, the latter, who won the Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business.

“Tonight’s nominees represent the UK’s finest – the industry leaders who continuously raise the bar when it comes to innovation and enterprise. Setting our economy on the path to longterm prosperity will be no mean feat, but the individuals we are celebrating tonight give us reason to be optimistic.

“Getting the economy growing is the Coalition Government’s single most important aim. We are determined to support businesses, creating jobs and opportunities in communities everywhere”, said the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, speaking at the Awards.

Applauded for heading up a company that has been called the star of the recession, it was Martin McCourt, CEO of Dyson and Sir James Dyson’s right hand man, who won the prestigious Orange Leader of the Year accolade. The public was invited to vote for their favourite leader to win the Orange Leader of the Year and their votes were combined with those of an expert panel of 20 judges.

It was Wow! Stuff, that won the Orange Innovation Award. First recognised by the National Business Awards at a regional level in 2008, highly commended in the Growth Strategy and Marketing categories, the Wolverhampton-based company won SME of the Year in the Midlands regional finals in 2009. Gaining market share very quickly within the traditional and well-established toys industry, Wow! Stuff has had to be very creative to compete and excel. It is this creativity, practically applied for commercial success that above all impressed the judging panel.

“All of the winners of the National Business Awards have demonstrated something really special – a spark of brilliance that means they are able to stand out from the crowd and outperform their market conditions. It has been a challenging year for business, however, the business excellence demonstrated by the award winners shows that the UK business community can thrive and help drive the economy forward. I’d like to congratulate the winners and hope to see their continued success”, said, Martin Stiven, Vice President of Business at Everything Everywhere, the company that runs Orange.

The Awards host, BBC presenter Huw Edwards, steered Britain’s leading businesses through the evening’s packed programme ranging from abseiling Cirque du Soleil style acrobats to the message from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, currently in China.

“These awards, they really do show off the best of British, from innovation to growth, from customer focus to corporate responsibility, through health and well-being to better regulation, from entrepreneur of the year to leader of the year. Category after category celebrating outstanding achievements, businesses small, medium and large, local, national and international the true pride of Britain and the true wealth creators in our economy. You are the doers and the grafters who will get this country back on its feet. The people who will get our economy growing again. And it’s absolutely right that we should take this moment to recognise what you do”, the Prime Minister said.

Manchester’s, ENER-G, won the 3i Private Business of the Year category; London-based Pearson triumphed with the Coutts & Co Large-Cap Business of the Year Award; and Telecity Group, London, was presented with the Grant Thornton Mid-Cap Business of the Year accolade.

It was the Co-operative Group, Manchester, who won the ICAEW Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Award; the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Carrickfergus, secured the Health, Work and Well-being Award; and Crafter’s Companion based in Bishop Auckland, was awarded the Santander Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year accolade.

“The geographical spread of the 2010 award winning organisations is astonishing”, said Philip Forrest, Chairman of Judges, the National Business Awards. “It is really positive to see that Britain’s public and private sector businesses, stretching from north to south, have the capacity, energy and ambition to succeed during these challenging conditions”, Mr Forrest added.

Over 150 of the UK’s most innovative and resilient public and private sector businesses have completed the two-stage rigorous Dragon’s Den style judging process this year, where over 100 multidisciplinary business leaders have chosen this year’s worthy winners. Commenting on the quality and quantity of entries, Mr Forrest concluded:

“The economic climate continues to present UK businesses with an unprecedented challenge and it is therefore encouraging that the entries in this year’s National Business Awards have shown no drop in quality or performance. Congratulations to all winners and finalists for demonstrating great strength in the ability to adapt and innovate quickly which no doubt reflects the resilience and optimism that are the hallmarks of UK enterprise.”

Visit to watch a film from the National Business Awards.


• The Orange Leader of the Year – Winner: Martin McCourt, CEO, Dyson, Malmesbury

• The Daily Telegraph Award for Decade of Excellence in Business – Winner: Sir Terry Leahy, CEO, Tesco, Hertfordshire

• The 3i Private Business of the Year – Winner: Ener-g plc, Manchester

• The Coutts & Co Large-Cap Business of the Year – Winner: Pearson, London

• The Grant Thornton Mid-Cap Business of the Year – Winner: Telecity Group, London

• The Orange Innovation Award – Winner: Wow! Stuff, Wolverhampton

• The Better Regulation Award – Winner: Export Control Organisation, London

• The Health, Work and Well-being Award – Winner: Police Service of Northern Ireland, Carrickfergus

• The Health, Work and Well-being for Small Business Award – Winner: PORT OF BLYTH, Blyth

• The ICAEW Corporate Responsibility Award – Winner: The Co-operative Group, Manchester

• The Santander Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year – Winner: Crafter’s Companion, Bishop Auckland

• The Business Link Growth Strategy of the Year – Winner: Samworth Brothers, Melton Mowbray

• The BlackBerry Customer Focus Award – Winner: apetito, Trowbridge

• The BlackBerry Customer Focus for Small Business – Winner: Ella’s Kitchen, Henley-on-Thames

• The Entrepreneur of the Year – Winner: Nick Ogden, Voice Commerce, London

• The Excellence in Marketing Award – Winner: Waitrose & MCBD, London

• The Employer of the Year – Winner: Glasgow Marriott Hotel, Glasgow

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