We’re delighted to announce that we have formed a new strategic partnership with Smarta, the UK?s largest small business news and advice website with 450,000 unique visitors a month. They feature a variety of organisations on their blog each month, as well as valuable advice for SMEs through eBooks and articles. ?It?s a great website and has lots of really interesting content for entrepreneurs and we are looking forward to working with them as they grow their footprint throughout the UK including Scotland.
The Smarta 100, in partnership with O2 is now well-established on the SME Awards circuit and seeks to find the best businesses in the UK. The judges don’t?just look for those who make the most money, but the businesses that have the most original ideas and make a true difference. ?They want to find the beacons of enterprising Britain, the small firms that are pushing the economic recovery forward, be it a brilliant social enterprise, an inspiring young tech start-up or a small manufacturer.
Previous winners include perfectly marketed onesie brand, Kigu, customer funded wine business, Naked Wines, crowd-sourced design firm Concept Cupboard and? the world’s first designer energy-saving light bulb Plumen.
Many have gone on to find even more success since the Smarta 100. Righteous Living, producer of natural food and drinks, has since raised ?75,000 on Crowdcube and recently screened their first TV ad. Online ad personalisation start-up Struq secured a huge $8.5m investment and mobile games developer Neon Play has seen massive growth in?as they hit 40 million downloads last year. Founder and CEO Oli Christie was announced Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Chamber of Commerce Awards.
Santander and Smarta are kick-starting a new initiative that will inspire even more entrepreneurs by celebrating the business that are operating in the slipstream of growth. ?Together, they?re creating The Breakthrough 50, a competition to recognise the 50 most outstanding and fastest growing businesses in the UK, I hope that some of you will be applying.? They are hosting their first Scottish event ?How to build a fast growth business? at Blythswood Square in Glasgow on Tuesday the 25th? of February at 6pm, the link with more information where you can also reserve your place is HERE.? The speakers are as follows:
Calum MacDonald, Highland WiFi
Winners from the first Smarta 100 awards in 2010, Highland WiFi offers a fast broadband wifi service to members of the public at various locations across Scotland. In fact it’s one of the fastest public Wi-fi networks in the UK. Co-founder Calum MacDonald will be on hand to discuss the success of Highland WiFi since and offer advice on how you can grow a business too.
Lucy Frankel ? Communications Director, Vegware
Lucy Frankel is Communications Director at Edinburgh business success story Vegware, Scotland?s 3rd?fastest growing firm according to the Deloitte Fast 50. The only completely compostable packaging firm operating globally, Vegware has experienced 901% growth in five years, and now operates in five continents. The UK team has grown from 2 to 42 since late 2009. Lucy is a regular public speaker on sustainable business and the circular economy, with further expertise in social media strategy,?zero waste in foodservice,?business writing skills and brand development. Vegware is 2013 winner of the FSB Streamline Business Awards and the Queen?s Award for Sustainable Development.
William Mitchell – Design Director, 4c Design Ltd
4c Design is a product design and engineering consultancy based in Glasgow. A graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, William has over 15 years of experience in a wide range of industries, including Food Handling, Electronic Products, Medical Devices and TV Props.
Before working at 4c Design, Will was a director at Mitchell Design Engineers, where the majority of work was specialist engineering and bespoke machine design. Mitchell’s and 4c Design then merged in 2004.? Since 2004, the clients have remained for the most part in the UK, with some recognition from other countries, however possibly the most prestigious international project to date has been the design of the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton.
Matt Thomas, Smarta