Who are the 2020 Business Leader Awards finalists - Business Leader News

Who are the 2020 Business Leader Awards finalists

Business Leader Awards

Earlier this month the finalists for the 2020 South West Business Leader Awards were revealed.

This followed months of reviewing and scoring the businesses by the panel of judges.

You can view the full list by clicking here.

To find out more about some of the businesses that have made the final we’ve compiled an overview to what they do and who they are.

The winners will be announced on Friday December 11 and they will be revealed in this order below, via a special series of video announcements.

The announcements will be made in this order:

  • Covid-19 Business Hero (9:00am)
  • Business in the Community (9:30)
  • Green Business of the Year (10:00)
  • Innovation & Technology Award (10:30)
  • Customer Excellence Award (11:00)
  • Export & International Business Award (11:30)
  • Employer of the Year Award (12:00)
  • Start-Up Business Award (12:30)
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award (13:00)
  • Family Business Award (13:30)
  • Business of the Year 1-10 employees (14:00)
  • Business of the Year 11-50 employees (14:30)
  • Business of the Year 51+ employees (15:00)
  • Advisory Firm of the Year (15:30)
  • Business Leader of the Year (16:00)

Here is a review of some of the finalists.

Once Big Circle 

Finalist in Innovation and Technology category

One Big Circle are specialists in Industrial Intelligent Video. Using its expertise in digital video and transmission, its AIVR IoT device automatically collects video data from challenging environments, such as rail and construction, and delivers it instantly online to those who need to see it. This enables rapid visual review for safety and planning and also applies Machine Learning to understand more context and create alerts for operators and organisations.


Finalist in Employer of the Year

The 1pm plc Group are an AIM listed independent specialist finance provider to UK SMEs. 1pm provide funding solutions that give businesses and their owners the confidence and freedom to achieve their goals and prosper. From Asset Finance, Invoice Finance, Loans and Vehicle Finance, 1pm say they have provided and arranged approximately £150m of funding every year to support the growth of near 20,000 customers.

Polly Grinnell – Double Retail Ltd

Double Retail

Finalist in Green Business of the Year

Founded in 2009, Double design and build retail and commercial spaces. Their creative work and unique processes have widened the lens through which brands, retailers and suppliers to the industry, perceive their social and environmental impact.

By placing positive purpose at the core of each project, by lowering or replacing the environmental impact and improving the wellbeing of those involved, each space they create builds benefit far beyond profit alone.

Sanctus Ltd

Finalist in Green Business of the Year

Sanctus are specialist environmental consultants and contractors working at the cutting edge of remediation, restoration and environmental recovery. They have successfully transformed former power stations into renewable energy hubs, built a new village in a former abandoned quarry; turned thousands of tons of asbestos filled soils into wildflower meadows, created wetland habitats, daylighted water courses and removed multiple barriers to fish migration helping to save the world in the process.

bClear Communications

bClear Communications is a public relations company specialising in financial services, construction and professional services. They say they provide in-depth knowledge and experience to help companies communicate more effectively, raise their profile and increase both credibility and sales.

Emily Kent – One Big Circle

ZiaBia Events Consultancy

Finalist in Business of the Year 1-10

ZiaBia says it helps its clients to ignite thinking, conversations, relationships and actions through inspiring events – delivered Virtually, Hybrid or live.

ZiaBia can put together a tailored event management solution for every scenario, whatever you want to achieve.

Rhino resourcing

Finalist in Business of the Year 1-10

Red Rhino Resourcing is a professional, service driven recruitment company operating within the Logistics, distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing sectors.

The business says it combines the latest technology and infrastructure with specific recruitment methods focusing on client culture, quality candidates and compliance, delivering an exceptional service throughout the process.

Poppy’s Picnic

Finalist in Customer Excellence Award

Poppy’s Picnic launched in 2016 to make it easy for people to feed their dogs a fresh, raw food diet. The company’s recipes have been crafted with the help of vets and canine nutritionists. The food can be bought in independent pet shops around the UK, online and in Hong Kong.

Poppy’s Picnic received 4 offers on BBC2 Dragons’ Den in 2018.


Finalist in Business of the Year 11-50

Terrafirma help people and organisations identify and manage ground risks. It says its market-leading reports, expert advice and innovative ground risk models enable them to make informed decisions, without needing to be ground risk specialists themselves.

Community of Purpose

Finalist in Business in the Community

Community of Purpose CIC is an award-winning social enterprise that transforms the lives and futures of young people. It is passionate about improving the life chances of young people and creating opportunities so they can fulfil their potential.

Rachel Flanagan – Mrs Bucket

Mrs Buckét

Finalist in Business of the Year 51+

Mrs Buckét is an award-winning commercial cleaning service covering Wales and the South West. Founded in 2005 by Rachael Flanagan, Mrs Buckét employs over 250 people. The business provides professional commercial cleaning services to a range of industry sectors, servicing over 150 premises on a daily basis.


Finalist in Green Business of the Year

GENeco is an award-winning, innovative, recycling and renewable energy company with the core goal to convert waste into valuable resources to be used to their fullest potential so that the community and the planet may benefit. GENeco’s carbon neutral activities form a complete closed loop and our zero waste-to-landfill anaerobic digestion facility converts every by-product of sewage, liquid and food waste into biofertilizer, green electricity, gas and vehicle fuel.

City to Sea

Finalist in Business in the Community

City to Sea is an environmental not-for-profit, campaigning to stop plastic pollution at source. Their award-winning campaigns tackle the single-use plastic items found most commonly on our beaches and in our rivers and oceans by providing practical solutions and championing reuse over single-use.

They believe collective action is key to lasting behaviour change and encourage communities, corporates and retailers to rethink, refuse, reduce and reuse across all of their campaigns.

Business West

Finalist in Covid-19 Business Hero Category

Business West is a not-for-profit company with 200 staff and a turnover of £10 million, we aim to make this area the best place to live, work, learn and do businesses. It says that more than 21,000 businesses trust them to help them start and grow as well as lobby government on their behalf. Profits are reinvested back into the business in order to achieve our mission.


Finalist in Green Business of the Year + Business of the Year 51+

Pure Planet is Britain’s first digital green energy supplier. It is a Which? recommended energy provider 2020, and the first domestic supplier to offer 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas. Since its launch, they’ve saved or offset 1 million tonnes of CO2e from entering our atmosphere.

Amanda Capon – Watson Marlow

Watson-Marlow Limited

Finalist in Covid-19 Business Hero

Watson-Marlow Limited is headquartered in Falmouth, Cornwall, and is a leading manufacturer of peristaltic pumps and . It is part of the Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group which is part of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE 100 company.


Finalist in Customer Excellence Award

Dunkley’s Chartered Accountants is a well-established, award-winning practice that are committed to providing both individuals and businesses with the best practical and professional accounting advice.


Finalist in Covid-19 Business Hero

Paranimo believes getting the right mental health support doesn’t have to be complicated or dependent upon where you live.

They are on a mission to:
• Reduce the complexity of finding the most relevant UK Therapist by the use of innovative matching technology.
• Increase the accessibility to, and facilitate the delivery of, private online talking therapy.
• Support the availability and employment of private mental health talking Therapists across the UK.

Michelle l’Huillier and Jelle de Jong – Tom and Teddy

Tom & Teddy:

Finalist in Export and International Business Award & Business of the Year 1-10

Founded in 2012 by Michelle L’Huillier, Tom & Teddy is a premium Australian beachwear brand specialising in bright and bold UV swimwear and super-soft beach clothing in matching styles for men and boys.

The label is now a leading male beachwear retailer in Australia and a strong contender within the ‘father-and-son’ apparel sector globally.

Simpact Solutions

Finalist in Advisory Firm of the Year

Simpact CIC is a consultancy business with a clear social purpose: reinvesting its profits to develop and deliver support services for disadvantaged young people in the South West and London.

Its consultancy business focuses on charities, social enterprises and SMEs providing public services, supporting them to design and deliver new products and services.

Stephenson Law

Finalist in BUsiness of the Year 11-50 employees and entrepreneur of the year

Founded in 2017, Stephenson Law challenges the legal industry by offering unparalleled service and expertise without the corporate stuffiness. Founded by Alice Stephenson, tech lawyer turned entrepreneur, Stephenson Law prides itself on being a flamingo amongst a flock of pigeons in the legal world.

Stephenson Law works with fast-growth entrepreneurial businesses, providing strategic advice and support on day-to-day matters with flexible pricing models to match the needs of clients.

Mike Beesley- Times Two Investments

TimesTwo Investment

Finalist in Business Leader of the Year

TIMESTWO Investments was created by two of the UK’s leading recruitment entrepreneurs to find the industry’s next big names. Designed to be ‘more than just money’ the investment programme works in partnership to provide finance, back office, IT, brand and marketing, legal and compliance and more. In short. TIMESTWO ensures that ambitious founders can get on with what they do best – making great things happen!

Ellie Webb

Finalist in Entrepreneur of the Year

Caleño was born out of personal frustration. Founder Ellie was on an alcohol-free night out with friends, getting down to some Latin funk. But something was bugging her. Why should not drinking mean not having fun? She felt uninspired by the alcohol-free drinks on offer and decided it was time to bring some joy to not drinking.

Caleño first came to life in Ellie’s kitchen, but it was 5,000 miles later on trip back to Colombia when she felt re-inspired by her Latin roots. After soaking up the vibrant colours, tropical flavours and Latin beats of her family’s homeland, she returned home to bottle it.

Musgrove Willows

Finalist in Family Business of the Year

When Arthur ‘ Sam’ Musgrove bought a cottage with a small plot of land for £100, he could not have imagined that nearly 100 years and four generations later, Musgrove Willows would be supplying willow and willow products to customers all over the world. Musgrove Willows now grow more than 60 varieties of willow on over 180 acres of Somerset farmland.


Finalist in Advisory Firm of the Year

Gallagher is one of the UK’s largest insurance brokers, specialising in risk management and insurance solutions for corporate, commercial and personal clients. With an extensive network of UK regional branches, Gallagher has a significant presence in the South West, with a team of more than 300 insurance and risk management professionals in Bristol, Exeter, Gloucester, Swindon and Torquay providing a local, on-the-ground service to clients in the region.

Harrison Clark Rickerby

Finalist in Advisory Firm of the Year

At Harrison Clark Rickerbys, we give you the legal expertise you need to make life run more smoothly in business or at home. We are part of key moments in your life – setting up or selling your business, buying your new house, getting married or divorced, making plans for your future or protecting your assets. Commercial and compassionate, entrepreneurial and engaging, we offer excellent legal advice tailored to your needs.


Finalist in Innovation and Technolgy

LettUs Grow believe careful innovation in farming can make the world a better place. We design aeroponic farming technology and farm management software for indoor and vertical farms. Our container farm DROP & GROW™ delivers higher crop yields, reduces the environmental impact of agriculture and makes farmers’ lives easier – helping to feed the next generation. We are a team of growers, engineers, plant scientists and people who care deeply about food and the environment.

Intouch with Health

Finalist in Innovation and Technolgy

Intouch with Health is the prime supplier of patient flow management solutions to the NHS acute sector.

The Intouch Patient Journey Platform enables NHS Trusts and healthcare organisations nationally and internationally to manage all aspects of a patient’s hospital journey.

Intouch currently processes over 30 million NHS outpatient appointments every year and supports over 50 NHS Trusts improve communication and information management, reduce costs, and improve overall quality.

Mark Callaghan (centre) and the British Corner Shop team

British Corner Shop

Finalist in Export and International Business

British Corner Shop enables British Brands to reach over 2 billion potential customers globally, using its innovative e-commerce technology platform. The company employs over 150 staff from the local area, and has a super-enthusiastic and entrepreneurial culture at its core. The business is experiencing record growth, and is set to more than triple its revenue over the next three years.

Love Her Wild

Finalist in Business in the Community

Noticing gender inequality in the outdoors, Bex Band founded the women’s adventure community, Love Her Wild. The community provides a supportive space and has taken over 1,000 of women on adventures in the UK and overseas.

Love Her Wild runs a number of enterprising initiatives including a mentoring program, free local meetups and funding for those least-represented including BAME, LGBTQ+ and differently-abled women. In 2021 the community is planning its biggest adventure yet; the Women’s End2End Relay – a hiking relay stretching the length of the UK, taking 74days to complete!


Finalist in Covid-19 Business Hero

Shift.ms is the social network for people with multiple sclerosis (MSers). Founded by MSers, for MSers, Shift.ms supports thousands of recently diagnosed people across the world as they make sense of MS. It’s independent and it’s free.

Shift.ms provides a space for MSers to share experiences, knowledge and support. The 37,000+ member community has been built on social connections and friendships.

Ellie Webb – Caleno

Smorgas Box

Finalist in Start-Up Business Award

Smorgas Box is an Amazon Focussed Marketing Agency with an expert team of digital marketers, graphic designers, and Amazon account managers. With us, brands improve product ranking, increase advertising return, and have great listings to show for it.

Not wanting to be just another agency, Smorgas Box launched with the goal of working collaboratively with brands. This vision paid off, achieving amazing growth for brands such as 679% revenue increase.

Cook Corporate

Finalist in Customer Excellence Award

Cook Corporate are a boutique firm of solicitors specialising in corporate, commercial property, and employment law. We work closely with business owners and entrepreneurs to provide heavyweight, robust, commercial advice to add value to their businesses. Our team are highly experienced, and we pride ourselves on the work we do for our clients and the results we achieve whether under pressure during a corporate transaction or providing routine commercial advice

Weston College

Finalist in Covid-19 Business Hero Award

Weston College (c£67m) is an Ofsted outstanding top performing College in the South West which consistently exceeds national training benchmarks. Its award-winning business support team has training specialists in 40+ sectors offering bespoke training solutions and workforce development advice.

Throughout COVID19 the College has supported its community with PPE/foodbanks and trained frontline workers. Business have been supported via its COVID19 Recovery Hub and #MyVirtualCollege has keep 20,000+ students engaged as well as offering virtual mental health/wellbeing support to reduce isolation throughout the pandemic.