The Midlands finalists have been announced for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022.
Fifteen Birmingham based business leaders have been shortlisted from 5,300 national entrants, which is the most the awards has ever had.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards has partnered with Starling Bank to acknowledge and champion the hard work of business owners across the UK.
The awards have an emphasis on the uplifting stories of business owners’ journeys and resilience over financial achievements.
Twelve awards will be given out per region for a variety of categories including Disruptor of the Year and Entrepreneur for Good Award.
A previous winner from the awards includes Social Chain founder Steven Bartlett, who became the youngest ever investor on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
The award will be even more special this year, with a brand new award highlighting organisations investing in the training and development of young people.
The John Caudwell Blaze your Own Trail Award will recognise outstanding examples of businesses offering apprenticeships, vocational training and diversity and inclusion initiatives, that improve young people’s access to work.
The winners of The Great British Entrepreneur Awards will be announced on November 21 at Grosvenor Hotel in London.
Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James said: “The quality coming from the Midlands is consistently excellent year on year, but we have been especially blown away by the innovation, drive and determination demonstrated in the applications this year.
“Shortlisting from so many inspiring contenders has been more challenging than ever, with many deserving cases put forward and an ever-growing business community thriving across the region.
“From the pandemic to the ongoing cost of living crisis, business owners haven’t had it easy over the past few years, but it’s a testament to the tenacity and perseverance of these entrepreneurs that they have continued on their path and refused to give in.
“This year’s Midlands finalists should be so proud of what they’ve already achieved both in business and in being shortlisted for an award - we’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the Finals and unveiling the winners!”
Who are the Birmingham finalists for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022?
The 15 Birmingham finalists and what they have said about their businesses is as follows:
Peter Neath & Ian Worton - Sausestream Limited - Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Aston Lark
Saucestream Squeezers were developed with the target of reducing single use plastic. The inventors wanted to move away from plastic sauce bottles to the traditional and still available glass bottles.
The squeezer was developed through the pandemic with a few samples of silicon rubber, paper drawings and plenty of discussions. 650 million ketchup bottles are produced each year, but glass bottles can be reused and recycled.
We solve the problem of getting the sauce out of glass bottles. Attach it and pump straight from the bottle and then move it to the next bottle. The product is manufactured from silicon rubber with a 10-year guarantee. We produce our range of squeezers for the condiments market, actively pushing into the hospitality sector.
With patented technology developed for high viscosity liquids, the next target market sector is hair shampoo, conditioner, shower gels and cosmetics.
Chris Meah - School of Code - Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Aston Lark
The School of Code is a free 16-week intensive bootcamp that teaches people programming skills from scratch. No qualifications needed. We’re determined to help change people’s lives.
The purpose of the School of Code is to give everyone a route into technology, and teach them the skills they need to leap into the industry. Our cohorts are representative of the communities they come from, with a 50:50 gender split, age range of 18-60 and demographics proportional to the local area.
With rising automation, the job landscape will change dramatically.We’re preparing people with the tech skills and soft skills to become collaborative, creative coders.
So far, we’ve achieved 80% employment from our previous cohorts. But, more important than stats, we’ve helped people completely change their lives for the better. We want to change tech education to produce well-rounded, world-class, hyper-diverse talent and believe that EVERYONE should have access to top-quality education.
Mohammed Ibrahim - The Clinic Room - Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Mail Metro Mail Ad Manager
Situated in Birmingham, Leicester and Peterborough, The Clinic Room is the world’s first SMART cosmetic clinic dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of the face, body and skin for ultimate physical and mental well-being.
A tech-first clinic, The Clinic Room uses state of the art machines and unrivalled treatment protocols to provide bespoke procedures and a unique experience not seen or found anywhere else.
Effective non-surgical treatment results depend on a competent mix of medical know-how, strategic planning, as well as clear aesthetic judgement.
The Clinic Room’s aim is to set patients with realistic goals with the highest quality results. With 50+ treatments available and over 25,000+ procedures completed, they are experts on the face, body and skin, boast years of knowledge and use world-class techniques to make their 5000+ clients feel their best.
Reece Couchman - The SaaSy People - Disruptor of the Year powered by Vodafone Business
The SaaSy People provide award-winning 100% UK based fully managed, multi-channel outsourced customer support tailored for growing businesses, in a simple monthly format.
We partner with growing businesses and understand that an end-customers support experience can be the differentiator between them and their competitors in an ever-competitive market.
By partnering with us our customers can provide their customers with 100% UK based, consistently high quality, customer support via any channel they choose, at the hours they choose including full 24/7 support. This ensures their existing customer base retains a positive impression of our customer’s business and remain a long term advocate.
Very often growing businesses neglect existing customers as they focus solely on acquiring new business, this causes existing customers to quickly become dissatisfied with service and then churn - losing the business revenue invested in acquisition advertising and marketing.
Lee Nazari - Swoopos - Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Aston Lark
When I was young, my father lost his restaurants due to not understanding the changes in consumer behaviour, which motivated me to create Swoopos.
It is an innovative MPOS system that combines all the latest payments, sales, marketing and customer analytics features needed to operate a business. Swoopos has build-in ordering (QR CODES) and booking system for table reservation. Normally too expensive and difficult to integrate systems needed.
The innovative Swoopos handheld device allows waiters to settle payment and take order at table, saving a lot of time, stress and human error.
Swoopos integrates with third party food ordering and e-commerce platforms like Just Eat, Deliveroo, Uber Aats and App4, helping customers to bridge online and instore ordering experience without the need for time consuming management and expensive extra hardware.
Customer data collected enables merchants to plan loyalty programs. Swoopos is affordable, it helps merchants to grow business and profit.
Ravi Ranjan - Voilo - Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Mail Metro Mail Ad Manager
Voilo is a Birmingham-based fintech startup started on the 19th of April 2021, empowering charities and micro-SMEs through our instant payment and auto reward platform, which saves upto 90% transactional cost and 95% faster in getting funds into the account.
Helping charities to avail £1.3 billion of gift-aid donations & enabling 40% of micro-SMEs who do not accept any kind of digital payments. So far we have onboarded 50+ businesses(charities + micro-SMEs) within six months of product launch and transected £100,000+ payments through our platform.
Voilo’s mission is to empower any local business & charity to reach its highest potential by providing truly accessible technology to thrive. We are on a journey of revolutionising payments through our unique banking technology and ensuring no businesses & charities are left behind, as every business is unique in its own way.
Charlie Rodman - Nerdy Banana - Young Entrepreneur of the Year
We’re Nerdy Banana - the home to the greatest Gift brands on planet earth. From a cuddly pillow of your loved one to Socks with your face on or Pyjamas featuring your beloved Dog - we make it happen.
Our Ecommerce brands include Super Socks; the World’s Leader in Personalised Socks, Snugzy.com: The Loveable Mini Me, Dogsy.co.uk: Unique Dog Gifts and NiftyGifty.com.
Having shipped over 200,000 online orders and worked with some of the largest retailers (Selfridges) in the last three years we’re only just getting started.
Ali Mirza - Local MasterChefs - Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year
Local MasterChefs is a new platform and food delivery service where you can order authentic home cooked food and get it delivered straight to your door.
We focus on connecting you to the best home chefs and small businesses in your neighbourhood, from professional chefs to talented family cooks. You can get the food you love and the food you never knew you would love, delivered straight to your door.
We have built a community of amazing registered home chefs from cultures all around the world who spread their love by cooking the delicious food that they have grown up eating.
When ordering on Local MasterChefs – you support local chefs and small businesses, enjoy a healthier lifestyle by eating fresh homemade food and explore new cultures through authentic dishes.
We have over 100 chefs on our platform and have completed 5000+ deliveries across Birmingham and have recently launched in East London.
Kameese Davis - Nylah’s Naturals - Health & Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year
Nylah Naturals is a plant-based high-performance textured hair care brand. It’s been built by experts that have spent years researching the best possible ingredients for safe, healthy and affordable haircare.
The brand is for the people who need hair care products that are safe, gentle and effective. For people who believe that their hair says something about them and their backgrounds, their heritage, their roots. For people who love to simply be ourselves: creative, inspirational, strong and beautiful.
It takes one person to be that spokesperson of an audience to stand up and say, ‘you deserve to be celebrated’ and Nylah Naturals does this louder than anybody.
Sam Cinkir - Este Medical Group Ltd - Health & Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year
Hair has been my passion from the age of eight, and I grew up knowing I wanted to get into the health and beauty industry and make positive changes in people’s lives.
The same dream has helped me make Este Medical Group a leading skin and hair specialist in the last six years. I left Turkey to pursue my dream in London and spent 12 years working every hour possible to learn as much as I can about hair loss treatments, and I felt I could use that knowledge to launch my own business.
Since day one, the ethos of the business has been putting the client at the heart of everything we do. Our goal is to enhance natural beauty and change lives. From launching my first clinic in 2015 in Birmingham to having 11 clinics worldwide is a dream come true.
Rosie Ginday - Miss Macaroon - Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year
At Miss Macaroon we’re baking a brighter future. Every penny we make in profit is invested in helping unemployed young people gain skills that will change their lives.
At Miss Macaroon we are relentless in our pursuit of improvement, so over the years we have harnessed art and science to create some of the most modern, premium macaroons on the market today.
Our secret recipe and methodology is scientific in its approach – we are the only patisserie in the world to use a Pantone matching service devised from a system routinely used in artistic industries to match macaroon colours to brand’s corporate identities.
We sell our macaroons online, through our stores in Birmingham, to the catering trade and direct to corporate customers and reinvest all profits to support 18 to 35 year olds who are long term unemployed, on the Autism Spectrum, have mental health issues or other barriers to work.
Oli Hills - Nonsensical - Creative Entrepreneur of the Year
Ryanair’s plane face, Francis Bourgeois, and Little Moons Mochi - each have gone viral on TikTok this past year... have you?
Most companies and brands rely on safe boring content about their products and services on social media and get very little engagement, because frankly nobody cares about your brand on social.
We’re Nonsensical - a TikTok marketing agency and publisher. We help brands think differently on social media, TikTok in particular, and operate in a way that genuinely cuts through the clutter and resonates with their audience.
Having built our own communities, Birmingham Updates, Best of Bristol, Endless Pride and Endless Mythology to over one million followers on Instagram, TikTok & Facebook, we’ve truly been there done that and can confidently say we understand the ever-evolving social media landscape.
We work with the likes of Uber Eats, Wasps Rugby and The Belfry to change the world of brands on social media.
Janet Douglas - Feed My Creative CIC - Creative Entrepreneur of the Year
Feed My Creative is different from other craft businesses. The family environment, the patience, skill and warmth given in every workshop gives attendees more than just a fun sewing experience.
People come together and ‘sewcialise’, some with mental health issues and some just wanting a space to explore something new.
I like to say Feed My Creative gives people creative super powers and every kind word and badge I’ve given; my feedback has always been one of ‘I’ve dusted off my sewing machine and made this’ or ‘thank you for encouraging me to try something new’.
My happiness is when people leave happy and the ‘unofficial’ homework photographs sent to me speaks volumes.
I love being creative but teaching others to be creative also encourages me to know that Feed My Creative was the best decision I’ve ever made in my career to date.
Gaurav Singhal - G Decor Ltd - Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Salesforce
Back in 2014, our founders had an idea. They wanted to provide a unique experience dedicated to home appliance decorations that you couldn’t just find at your local corner store.
We have since taken that idea and used it to propel ourselves into a successful home décor business located in Birmingham, UK. We branded ourselves as G Decor, and our focus was set on providing unique décor for your home and business.
We’ve always been dedicated to taking inspiration from art from the past and now, and turning that inspiration into beautiful and unique décor. When we first came onto the market we were all about bringing luxury and special items to our customers at affordable prices.
Today, our mission statement is still the same. We’ve proudly served our community and online customers for over five years and we’re stoked and ready to do it for many more!
Amy Cunningham - The Strings Club Ltd (and The Strings Club Franchise Ltd) - Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year powered by Salesforce
Every year, thousands of parents have the painstaking task of finding the right childcare for their child during the school holidays. At The Strings Club, we offer a simple solution - and that’s offering only the very best in childcare and music - every school holiday.
Since 2012, we’ve learnt just how beneficial music can be for a child’s development and wellbeing. That’s why we’re proud to have welcomed almost half a million children through our doors.
We’ve been described as the “disruptors” of childcare. Why? Because we’ve demonstrated that our services have had a real impact on the communities that we operate within.
Not only in using music as a vehicle for nurturing children in more ways than one. But also in offering a solution for working parents by ensuring that their child will develop their skills, have fun and make new friends - all within a rewarding environment.
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