The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Recognises Small Businesses

Businesses from around the United Kingdom attended a prestigious event held by Her Royal Majesty the Queen on 23rd July in honour of their success in the previous years. This year’s event saw one of the most highly coveted awards granted to those businesses which started small and blossomed into hugely successful enterprises.

the queens awards for enterprise

Some of the businesses honoured at the event were so humble in their beginnings, they attribute their success to work at the kitchen table!

Filling a hole

Thea Green, founder of Nails Inc., began the business in 1999 when she was only 24. Green noticed a hole in the market, seeing that there was no high quality manicure option for busy, working women, and decided to fill this space with a range of salons and varnishes.

While Green worked as a fashion editor in the capital, she devised the ’15-minute manicure’ which had customers queuing down the street once her first store had opened.

Nails Inc. along with its founder have won numerous awards over the years, which has gone some way to turning the company into an international success, and the Queen’s Award for International Trade recognised this success this year.

Dressing to impress

Worldwide luxury maternity-wear brand Tiffany Rose has gone on to dress the pregnant public and celebrities alike for a range of formal occasions, but this international business began small – from founder Tiffany London’s kitchen table.

Detailing her excitement on the store’s blog, London has said:

“I always love the idea of one day having my own business… It seemed like a bit of a pipe dream then, especially when I started from the kitchen table with less than £1,000 start-up capital. I didn’t dare dream it would one day grow to the size it is now.”

“Given our 100% commitment to quality manufacturing in Britain it’s a huge honour for us to receive this award from Her Majesty the Queen. There is no higher support we could wish for and we could not be more thrilled with what we have achieved to date, or more excited about the opportunities for future growth.”

In a similar ‘small roots’ vein, the hugely successful Cambridge Satchel Co., which was founded in 2008 by mother and daughter Freda Thomas and Julie Deane, we also honoured with the prestigious award.

With only a £600 start-up fund and a tiny team, the Cambridge Satchel Co. now employs more than 80 people and is stocked by the many of the highest quality designer retailers.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has commented on the award, saying: “It’s right that companies which are pushing forward, investing and working hard to champion business here and abroad get this well-deserved recognition.

“I hope the awards and today’s celebrations will encourage even more business to enter next year and inspire more entrepreneurs to start or grow their own business. I applaud each and every one of today’s winners.”

photo credit: IncaMarketing