• Eight high growth SMEs named as finalists for Growth Champion of the Year award

• Winners will be announced at a black tie awards dinner on Wednesday 8th November at Royal Lancaster Hotel in London

• Visit growthinvestorawards.com/finalists for a full list of all finalists and information on how to attend the event.

We’re thrilled to announce that eight high growth SMEs have been selected as finalists for the third annual Growth Investor Awards. These exemplary UK businesses will now go on to a second round of judging and a public vote to determine the 2017 Growth Champion of the Year. This prestigious award, won by Eve Sleep in 2016, will be presented by Smith & Williamson at a black tie dinner for 450 guests on November 8th.

This award recognises top performing SMEs that have best optimised venture capital scheme funding to scale up their businesses, with the judges considering a range of growth metrics including revenues, job creation, and regional / international expansion.

Between them, the eight companies have received £40.35 million of tax-advantaged venture capital, with an average investment of just over £5 million. They employ 780 people, more than half of them are located outside London; and the sectors they work in range from beauty, to education and social care, and sports and travel.

Commenting on winning the 2016 award Kuba Wieczorek, Eve Sleep’s Co-CEO and Chief Brand Officer said: “Winning the Growth Champion of the year award is amazing recognition for all the hard work that the eve team and investors have put in to achieve such significant growth in such a short time.”

The eight Growth Champions that have been selected for 2017 are:

  • Blow LTD
  • Chop’d
  • Horizon Care & Education
  • Housekeep
  • Inspiresport
  • It’s All Good
  • Laundrapp
  • Lineup Systems

Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson, sponsor of Growth Champion of the Year, commented: “The future of our economy is dependent on entrepreneurship and innovation.  Tax incentives for investment are therefore essential for businesses seeking the growth capital they need to scale. We are delighted to sponsor the Growth Champion of the Year Award which showcases how this type of investment is being used to create our businesses of the future.”

The Awards are organised by Intelligent Partnership, the UK’s leading provider of education and insights on alternative investment, and supported by partners including the BVCA, EISA, UKCFA, The Centre for Entrepreneurs, The Entrepreneur Network and The Supper Club.  The awards specifically acknowledge those companies and individuals who are helping start-up and ‘scale-up’ businesses realise their full potential and power Britain’s economy.

Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership, said: “The Growth Investor Awards measure the impact of talent, technology and innovative thinking within Britain’s thriving smaller company ecosystem. We want to honour all those industry leaders and individuals who day-in, day out display the ability, bravery and commitment needed to help drive Britain’s economic growth from the bottom up.

“We received numerous entries for the prestigious Growth Champion of the Year award from companies spanning a variety of sectors and regions across the UK. Our dedicated judging panel worked tirelessly to evaluate every entry to arrive at the shortlist. We’ll now open the judging to a public vote, which will, together with the judges scores, determine this year’s rightful winner from the eight fantastic businesses. This category epitomises the spirit of awards by acknowledging the growth champions’ impact on the communities they operate within and the wider economy.”

The awards programme is guided by an Advisory Board including Irene Graham, CEO of the Scale Up Institute; Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners; Claire Cockerton, Founder and Ambassador of Innovate Finance; Tim Hames, Director General of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA); Emma Jones MBE, CEO of Enterprise Nation; Simon Devonshire OBE, Entrepreneur in Residence at BEIS; and Michael Hayman MBE, Co-founder of Seven Hills.

Commenting on the importance of celebrating entrepreneurial success stories, Luke Johnson said: “For those with an adventurous spirit and an urge for independence and freedom, there can be no substitute for entrepreneurship because of the limitless possibilities it offers. Our entrepreneurial leaders are rightly acknowledged as today’s business champions for the great efforts they make to turn dreams into great companies through their hard work and sheer determinism.”

Referring to the need for more support for scale-up companies, Michael Hayman said: “We need to build greater awareness about the merits that scale-up companies generate for the wider economy and work collectively to accelerate the growth culture. The role that entrepreneurs play in wealth creation has never been greater and if the business community is going to be at the heart of this change, it needs to be at the table in ensuring that the conditions for enterprise are being well thought through. Together we can help to nurture successive generations of growth champions.”

Information about previous award winners, judges and selection criteria for each award can be found at growthinvestorawards.com.

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