2017 National Enterprise Network Awards winners announced

The winners of the 2017 National Enterprise Network awards were announced at the NatWest supported National Enterprise Network Annual Conference on Friday 1st December.

Enterprise support excellence recognised in unique awards programme

The winners of the 2017 National Enterprise Network awards were announced at the NatWest supported National Enterprise Network Annual Conference on Friday 1st December. Winners in six categories were announced by National Enterprise Network Chairman Graham Marley at the event held at the NatWest Conference Centre in London. A number of highly commended entries were also recognised during the ceremony.

Awards were presented to organisations and individuals from within membership of National Enterprise Network; recognising excellence in the delivery of enterprise support and encouraging the exchange of good practice in the following categories for: Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year, Enterprise Engagement Award, Unsung Hero of the Year Award, Enterprise Team of the Year Award and Enterprise Communicator of the Year Award.  An additional award – the Chairman’s Award – was also presented in recognition of the exceptional work of one of our members.

National Enterprise Network received high quality entries from our network of members across each award category – testament to the excellence and achievements across the Network. Andy Lee, Strategic Lead for Diversity in Business at NatWest joined NEN Chairman Graham Marley and NEN Chief Executive Dawn Whiteley MBE in judging each entry and choosing the eventual winners.

Our Highly Commended and Winners:

Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year (turnover under £750,000)

Winner – Transmit Start Ups

Highly Commended – Yorkshire Coast Enterprise

Based in Gateshead, Transmit Start Ups has changed substantially since its inception four years ago. Starting out as a smaller operator initially delivering start-up loans, it now delivers on a much bigger scale both in terms of its services and its geographical coverage. We were impressed by their innovative approach to customer service and the use of technology to grow their reach and efficiency.


Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year (turnover over £750,000)

Winner – Business Enterprise Fund

Business Enterprise Fund clearly demonstrated that they are an innovative and growing business. Not ones to rest on their laurels, they have worked hard to demonstrate the full impact of their work through the release of their Social Impact Report, a report which has been shared widely and received a lot of positive feedback; and make themselves and their processes more efficient through the use of new technology. The Judges were also impressed with their innovative approach to assisting clients and building new partnerships.


Enterprise Engagement Award

Winner – StartUp Croydon

Highly Commended – Enterprise Exchange

StartUp Croyon received this award in recognition of their breadth of enterprise activity. Taking a very proactive approach, they have engaged with a wide range of partners over the last year, and run a very varied set of events. This has delivered real results in terms of take-up of their services and the occupancy rate of their workspace. It is clear that they are a key stakeholder in their local area.


Unsung Hero of the Year Award

Winner – Finance for Enterprise – Leanne Pilkington

Highly Commended – Menta – Leanne Castle

Leanne was described by her colleagues as a “hidden gem” and it was clear she is a very valued member of the team. Since joining the organisation in 2012, her career progression has been rapid as she has quickly picked up new skills and taken on new responsibilities – no doubt as a direct result of her willingness and positive attitude. Furthermore, Leanne’s work was noted to have made an impact on the operational efficiency of the company and its performance. The Judges were pleased to see a company encouraging and allowing its staff members to grow and develop, and felt that it was a testament to Leanne’s attitude that she embraced all the opportunities afforded to her.


Enterprise Team of the Year Award

Winner – Yorkshire in Business

As an organisation, Yorkshire in Business has undergone a challenging couple of years. However, it was clear to us that they have been held together by a small but very strong team who have pulled on the individual strengths of each team member and worked together to find the best way forward for the business, with each person playing their part. They have applied their business skills and maximised their client relationships to add value and build further connections with the community.


Enterprise Communicator of the Year Award

Winner – Wenta

Highly Commended – Airedale Enterprise Services

Wenta were awarded this in recognition of their consistent and very strong presentation of their external communications. Through their new website and the development of their online community, they are enabling connections between like-minded entrepreneurs, as well as providing a number of useful resources and networking opportunities.


Chairman’s Award

Winner – Portobello Business Centre

NEN were contacted by Allen Pluck, Chief Executive of Portobello Business Centre the day after the Grenfell Tower disaster. He explained how their clients and local business community had been directly affected by the fire, explained how PBC were looking to help and asked for our support. We were only too happy to help! Letters were sent to the Small Business Minister and the Mayor of London, to ensure the impact on the business community wasn’t overlooked and to reiterate the support being provided locally. PBC have rightly been praised for their rapid and ongoing response in the wake of the disaster, and their place as a known and trusted local resource has been confirmed. The response made by the team at PBC to the Grenfell Tower disaster was truly exceptional, and we are incredibly proud to have them as a member of the NEN network.


Each award winner was presented with an engraved trophy and a bottle of champagne, with highly commended organisations given framed certificates to recognise their contribution. Further details on each winner to follow…