Overall Winner - Kendal Nutricare

Overall Winner - Kendal Nutricare

Kendal Nutricare, the manufacturer of ‘Kendamil’ infant formula, has beaten off stiff competition to be crowned the UK’s Best Small Business in this year’s annual FSB & Worldpay UK Business Awards.

Just eighteen months ago, Ross McMahon bought a struggling local H J Heinz manufacturing plant that had cut its talented workforce by more than 70 per cent over five consecutive years and reported losses of £4 million. McMahon’s vision and strategy were clear - turnaround the fortunes of the Kendal site by manufacturing and exporting high quality infant formula to China, which he recognised would be in rising demand following the relaxation of China’s one child policy.

Fast forward to today and the Kendal Nutricare CEO is riding high. The pharma research company can boast a thriving wholesale and direct retailing business, driven almost entirely by exports to China.

The company’s ‘Kendamil’ brand of infant formula which incorporates full-cream natural nutrients and essential fatty acids from cow’s milk. In addition to becoming the only infant formula on British shelves to be actually manufactured in Britain, the product is stocked in more than 8,000 Chinese stores.

For further information, visit: kendalnutricare.com

Best Start-up - Learning Heroes

Best Start-up - Learning Heroes

Warrington-based, Learning Heroes, won the Online Business of the Year award (Sponsored by Ascent). Trading since 2015, Leaning Heroes says it is ‘here to save the world from boring e-learning’.

Learning Heroes trades over three continents, supplying major blue chips, the public sector and charities. It has 16 employees, over 300 customers, and a turnover of more than £1 million. The company says it expects to grow by 300 per cent in 2017

Find out more about this innovative business: learningheroes.com

Business and Product Innovation - Womanzone

Business and Product Innovation - Womanzone

Warrington-based, Womanzone, works with women who have undergone surgery following breast cancer, supplying breast prostheses into the NHS and direct to women themselves.

After discharge, the team provide an innovative post-op kit to patients, which comprises of a bra and temporary prosthetic breast ahead of the permanent prosthesis fitting, helping to relieve anxiety on the trip home. Womanzone also works closely with NHS nurses, offering training courses to help those who want to provide this service direct to patients.

Find out more about this inspiring business: woman-zone.co.uk

Community Business - Love Your DoorStep

Community Business - Love Your DoorStep

Set up in 2011 following the London Riots, Love Your Doorstep was created to re-establish a sense of community in London.

Now the largest community forum in North London, it puts members in touch with trusted local businesses, guiding them to the services right on their doorstep and helping to bring money back into the local economy. Currently there are over 17,000 local people in the forum, supporting over 500 locally based businesses. Self-funded, Love Your Doorstep also supports schools, charities, community groups, the council and the local police.

Find out more about this fantastic community business: loveyourdoorstep.co.uk

Employer of the Year - The Tavistock Institute

Employer of the Year - The Tavistock Institute

Established as a not-for-profit organisation with charitable purpose in 1947, the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) applies social science to contemporary issues and problems. The Institute is engaged with evaluation and action research, organisational development and change consultancy, and executive coaching and professional development – all in service of supporting sustainable change and ongoing learning.

Primarily, the TIHR is dedicated to the study of human relations for the purpose of bettering working life and conditions for all people, whether within their organisations or others, and to the influence of environment on the formation of human character.

Find out more about this brilliant employer: tavinstitute.org

Ethical - CSR - Green - Skelwith Fold

Ethical - CSR - Green - Skelwith Fold

Family owned Skelwith Fold Caravan Park, located in Cumbria, has been in business for over 40 years. Its main attraction is 130 acres of unspoiled woodland, abundant with wildlife. Skelwith Fold operates a policy of sustainable management, including many conservation initiatives designed to protect the indigenous flora and fauna, and to promote working in harmony with the natural world.

Recent developments include the introduction of electric bikes, which encourage guests to swap their cars for a more sustainable form of transport when exploring the surrounding countryside.

Find out more about this award-winning family business: skelwith.com

Online Business - Learning Heroes

Online Business - Learning Heroes

Warrington-based, Learning Heroes, won the Online Business of the Year award (Sponsored by Ascent). Trading since 2015, Leaning Heroes says it is ‘here to save the world from boring e-learning’.

Learning Heroes trades over three continents, supplying major blue chips, the public sector and charities. It has 16 employees, over 300 customers, and a turnover of more than £1 million. The company says it expects to grow by 300 per cent in 2017

Find out more about this innovative business: learningheroes.com

Business Exporter - Kendal Nutricare

Business Exporter - Kendal Nutricare

Kendal Nutricare is a pharmaceutical research company that manufactures nutrition-based products.

The company’s ‘Kendamil’ brand of infant formula which incorporates full-cream natural nutrients and essential fatty acids from cow’s milk. In addition to becoming the only infant formula on British shelves to be actually manufactured in Britain, the product is stocked in more than 8,000 Chinese stores.

In just 18 months, the factory has been taken from a loss of £4 million to break even, almost entirely thanks to export success.

For further information on this innovative exporter, visit: kendalnutricare.com

Family Business - GoBelow Underground Adventures

Family Business - GoBelow Underground Adventures

Go Below Underground Adventures is a family run business based in North Wales. For adventurers everywhere, it offers tours through the local abandoned slate mines where guests can indulge in various thrill-seeking activities.

For those who don’t fancy climbing, traversing or abseiling, expert trip leaders also reveal the history of the mine and offer a tour of the ancient artefacts inside.

Find out more about this thrilling small business: go-below.co.uk

Lifetime Achievement - Barrie Pegrum

Lifetime Achievement - Barrie Pegrum

Mr Pegrum is a sole trader who began his career at age 17, working in the wind tunnels on the Hawker Harrier prototype P1127, and since then he has gone on to become a world leading designer of counter-terrorist training facilities worldwide.

Occupation highlights have included developing the world's most sophisticated counter-terrorist training base for Jordan's King Abdullah, training bases in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Met Police training centre in Gravesend. In his long career, he has masterminded many unique systems still in use today, the latest being an instant housing system for disaster relief, refugees, hospital overspill accommodation and similar crises.

Young Entrepreneur - Robert Rajeswaran - GoCode

Young Entrepreneur - Robert Rajeswaran - GoCode

An in-house web development boot-camp based in Milton Keynes, the GoCode Academy trains young people and adults to kick-start a career in web development.

The 12 week course provides students with a better understanding of how a website is created, taking it from initial design stages to the final product, so they can land a junior developer role or launch their own business once the course is completed.

The GoCode team also runs a 10-week Saturday course for 12-18 year olds, aiming to inspire the next generation of coders.

Find out more about this digitally savvy business: gocode.academy

Microbusiness - Durham Hens

Microbusiness - Durham Hens

Durham Hens started as a hobby for manager Margaret Manchester, when she struggled to find hens to buy locally. From these humble beginnings, the business is now one of the largest hen retailers in the UK, not to mention the largest producer of pure and rare breed chickens.

In spite of having just six employees, the Durham Hens team also finds time to sell poultry supplies through e-commerce, and have developed and manufactured several unique products of their own.

Find out more about this fantastic business: durhamhens.co.uk