Wiltshire emerged with three award winners this week at the biggest annual contest for small businesses in the South West.
The FSB South West Small Business Awards final saw five Wiltshire entries on the shortlist for the 12 honours up for grabs and a trio of them – Swindon’s Top Professionals Access Limited, Charlton Baker, of Devizes and Bath, and Dan Yates who works for Greener, in Warminster, returned with trophies. All three will now get the chance to appear in the national FSB final in the spring.
Chartered accountants Charlton Baker scooped the FSB Larger Small Business title, Top Professionals Access Limited won the new Diversity and Inclusion award while Dan Yates won the Young Entrepreneur title. It was the second consecutive year that the FSB Young Entrepreneur accolade had come to Wiltshire following the success of gardener Alfie Jones, of Royal Wootton Bassett in 2022.
Dan – who started his business to help SMEs find sustainable supply chain support – said he was delighted to be recognised by his business peers.
“When you start a business you don’t tend to lift your head up and wonder how you are seen. To win this means we must be doing something right in our aim to make sustainability simpler and easier for small businesses.”
Scott Sartin, for Charlton Baker, said their award meant they were able to continue their ambition to change the perception people have of accountants and accountancy.
“We are genuinely ecstatic and blown away to win this and we certainly didn’t expect it,” he said.
“We have set out a vision to change the face of accountancy and redefine what we do and how we do it. Hopefully this award shows that people are able to see what we are trying to achieve.”
And Sebastian Kopanski of Top Professionals Access Limited, also expressed his delight at claiming the first ever South West FSB Diversity and Inclusion title for his work helping people with sensory or neurodivergent conditions.
“I am delighted to be a winner because my efforts to make the world more accessible and inclusive were recognised. Moreover, I believe that the award recognises people living with various conditions and disabilities, their challenges and their drive to live independent, thriving and fulfilling lives,” he said.
The two other Wiltshire companies who were also shortlisted for success at the finals event were Heywood architects Sophem Limited who were in the Micro Business category and Kington Deluxe Toilet Hire, of Westbury, who were in the Family Business Sector.
Lee Nathan, the FSB Regional Chairman for the South West, said both the quality and quantity of the region’s entries this year had stunned the judges.
“Entries flooded in from all across our area from Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire, Bath, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Devon and even picking regional shortlists for the categories was a nightmare for our judges let alone actually picking the winners.
“This was our unique chance to showcase what we all truly believe – that the South West has the best, most innovative and most creative small businesses in the whole of the UK,” he said.
Sponsorship for the event came from Reach plc, NatWest, Tyl by NatWest, Aldermore, FSB Insurance, Weston College, Renishaw, Lexus Bristol and Gravity.
The full list for the South West area ‘FSB Celebrating Small Business Award’ winners for 2023 is:
Business & Product Innovation Award
PEEQUAL (Bristol )
Family Business of the Year
The Devon Seaweed Company (Newton Abbott, Devon)
Exporter of the Year
Mucky Nutz (Bude, Cornwall)
Feritech Global Ltd (Redruth)
Start-up Business of the Year
PEEQUAL (Bristol )
Diversity and Inclusion Award
Top Professionals Access Limited (Swindon, Wiltshire)
Micro Business of the Year
Habitat Aid Limited (Bruton, Somerset)
Self-employed/Sole Trader of the Year
Simon Hall (Exeter, Devon)
Larger Small Business of the Year
Charlton Baker (Devizes, Wiltshire)
Right at Home (Poole, Dorset)
Okehampton Community Kitchen Limited (Okehampton, Devon )
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Dan Yates at Greener (Warminster, Wiltshire)
The South West final is one of a number of regional finals place across the UK with a national final taking place in Birmingham in May. For more details see www.fsbawards.co.uk
Pictured above: Dan Yates – FSB award winner 2023