As the dust settles on the closing date for this years Business Achievers Awards, we’re looking at a record breaking number of entries. 572 is the final number with every region, sector and business size being represented. That’s 572 businesspeople from all walks of business life on this island that took the time to tell their stories and record their business journeys to date. And if their vision and ambitions for the future are anything to go by, the business community on the island is bullish about the future and well positioned to lead the recovery.
Innovation and technology
The knowledge economy will play an important role in that future. Almost 40% of all entries were generated online which shows the strength of social media. And if the entries in the Innovation & Technology category are to be believed, businesses are embracing digital media as well as creating high tech ventures using internet technologies.
The food island is also thriving. The amount of businesses supporting food production entering the Agri-Business category illustrates that agriculture remains a bedrock. We also saw a range of traditional and very innovative businesses entering the Food & Drink category, some artisan, but quite a lot looking to create businesses that can scale globally on the back of this island’s strong brand for quality. In fact we had a good number of Food & Drink companies that were also in the Start Up category, again a good indication of a very vibrant sector.
Start ups and women
The Start Up category was the biggest category of all: Although for a while there, the established SME category and the Woman Led Category were vying for the lead. The strength of all three categories suggests a strong core to the SME market with companies emerging from the last 5 years of down turn looking lean and strong for the future.
The strong showing by start ups across all categories also shows that the competition got the balance right with its categories to reflect the vibrancy of the SME sector overall. And what about the Woman Led Category? Not only was it the second biggest category of all, but woman led businesses peppered all the other categories as-well.
The Social Enterprise category was another great success. Entries here represented all walks of life on this island and highlighted the work that happens when communities rally together.
Thank you from Small Business Can to all those that entered and best of luck. Thank’s also to those that helped promote the awards by informing their own customer bases, by tweeting and retweeting. Thanks to the Business Women Can ambassadors who did a great job of rallying our women led businesses. And thanks to the Small Business Can community that responded so well to a business competition that embraces the SME community and recognizes its key role in all our futures.