The National Business Awards are celebrating the 13th year of their ceremony and have built a strong presence in the awards industry as an event that showcases some of the best businesses in the country, regardless of size or industry. This year’s shortlisted businesses are diverse as retail, technology, men’s grooming products, telecoms, construction, advertising, entertainment, and publishing.
Last Thursday the awards organisation set up a ‘Summer Party’ which was attended by our Managing Director, Piers Daniell and Senior Account Manager, Andi Soric. The Summer Party gave the opportunity to recognise faces and be introduced to other nominees, some of the judges and sponsors.
Piers is nominated for The Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year award and Fluidata was announced as shortlisted for The BlackBerry Business Enabler of the Year Award on Wednesday. Going up against many great companies and entrepreneurs such as the University of the West of England, Bristol and Stephen Fitzpatrick from OVO Energy, all will compete for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the National Business Awards gala dinner held on 11th November 2014. Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services, Smith & Williamson and judge for the Entrepreneur of the Year category said: “Fluidata has created a pioneering, proprietary service exchange that unravels the rural broadband problem and was awarded the 2014 Queen’s Award in Innovation.” Simon Feary, CEO, Chartered Quality Institute, judge for the Business Enabler of the Year category mentioned Fluidata is “An impressive example of using technology to offer businesses access to the internet. Hugely important in today's operating environment where if you're not connected you can't do business.”
Throughout the Summer Party night, one thing that stood out was the range of personalities through the different businesses. Not only was there a range of characters but every personality was bold in their own right, a clear trait of a leader. Some of the nominees started businesses without goals or necessarily a clear vision, but their stories spoke of drive, ambition and clear evidence of strength through times of failure. It makes me question whether a leader needs a set goal or vision, or would this just distract them from potential opportunities that may fall outside the end target?
Another factor which seemed to have helped elevate a lot of the businesses is technology. Without stating the obvious, technology and its development over the last 10 years in terms of business has been pivotal in opening opportunities for young businesses and entrepreneurs. But it’s taking those opportunities in the right approach that has helped some of the nominees from the National Business Awards to grow. Companies who may have fallen behind in the recession wouldn’t have adapted to future technology changes in the right way or at the right time. On the other hand smaller, growing businesses have the flexibility within their personnel and their structure to adapt more efficiently than 100+ person organisation. So the question is; does the economy make a difference when you start a business, or does it matter who is leading the company?