Dragon’s Den star on the lookout for Britain’s best small businesses » SMEInsider

Dragon’s Den star on the lookout for Britain’s best small businesses

The Nectar Small Business Awards have officially launched, and Sarah Willingham, consumer champion and newly appointed BBC ‘Dragon’ is helping to find some of the UK’s most successful SMEs.

This is the seventh annual awards show held by Nectar Business, where the firm celebrates the achievements of successful small businesses and SME owners across the UK.

Entrants for this year’s awards will be judged by Sarah Willingham, Will Shuckburgh, Nectar managing director, Allan Dickson, director of commercial at Dulux  and previous Nectar Business Small Business Awards winner, Melissa Snover.

Sarah Willingham is a successful serial entrepreneur, known for turning the Bombay Bicycle Club into the largest chain of Indian restaurants in the UK, as well as being a founding director and investor in the London Cocktail Club. Sarah will be one of three new panelists joining the show as it begins its 13th season later this year.

‘‘I can’t wait to get involved with the Nectar Business Small Business Awards, helping to discover, support and champion some of the UK’s most brilliant businesses,’’ said Willingham.

The awards will culminate during a roundtable event in November, although the time and date of the awards show has yet to be announced.

‘‘I’ve ‘been there and done that’ so to speak by, launching and managing businesses of my own – so I know first-hand the drive, commitment and sheer hard work that’s required to make a small business succeed; and the fact that this dedication makes the eventual rewards even sweeter,’’ continued Willingham.

You will be able to vote for your favourite small business until the 24th July. All SMEs, social enterprises, charities and entrepreneurs that demonstrate innovative and sustainable business ideas are invited to enter as many categories relevant to their business. These are:

  • Small Business of the Year
  • Innovation of the Year
  • Home Grown Business of the Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Tradesperson of the Year
  • Contribution to the Community

As in previous years, the Contribution to the Community award will be open to a public vote, so you get to help the five judges decide on who should be this year’s winner.

The winners will receive £2,000 cash and 50,000 Nectar points, as well as competing for the opportunity to meet and receive tailored expert advice from Sarah Willingham at the Nectar Business round table and awards event.