The Soldiering On Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country, and the diverse people and groups who work together in support of the Armed Forces Community.
There is an ethos and set of values by which the military community live and work; leave no one behind and work together as a team. Those values are exemplified in the amazing achievements of this year’s Soldiering On Awards Finalists who are all outstanding ambassadors for the Armed Forces Community and winners in their own right. For a full list of the finalists, click here: soldieringon.org/the-2019-soldiering-on-award-finalists/
The Soldiering On Awards have three business award categories and we are delighted to announce the judges’ selection of finalists:
The Business of the Year – Start Up award recognises those businesses who, in a short period of trading, have already achieved great things in their first 24 months of trading. The finalists have been selected for a range of reasons. For some businesses this has been through filling a gap in the market like Bee Accountancy who provides accountancy services for the Armed Forces community. For others, product/service excellence has meant distinguishing themselves in the market, like Geocollect who have revolutionised insurance claims by offering indisputable evidence and British Babies who have consistent 5* reviews for their baby clothes.
Other inspirational startups have drawn on their own experiences and applied their entrepreneurial talents to overcome adversity themselves and help others do the same, such as Y2X which helps veterans transition from the Armed Forces to civvy street. Some startups have achieved exceptional growth, such as Network Training Partnership which has won various high profile contracts in their first few years of trading.
Each of these finalists are shining examples and future role models of how the military community make fantastic entrepreneurs with their dedication, discipline and resilience, and furthermore they are honouring their commitment to the Armed Forces community by continuing to support veterans.
To startup a business is a huge achievement in itself, but to then scale up that business is an even more phenomenal accomplishment. The finalists of the Business of the Year – Scale Up award have each taken the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. For White Horse Cleaning Services Ltd, their growth has been achieved through taking on a considerable amount of staff and they are now exploring franchising opportunities. Finalist Hannaman Materials Handling Ltd. has increased their service offerings to include over 15,000 products, doubling their turnover since acquisition of the company. Another fantastic example of scale up comes from finalist Mama + Belle who has a following of over 40k on social media. Their teething jewellery range is being sold in leading stores such as John Lewis and plans to supply internationally are underway. Finalist UK Connect has achieved exponential growth after becoming the national provider of communication solutions services to 6 FTSE 100 businesses and building a business worth over £3.7m.
Each of these scale up finalists is an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs throughout the Armed Forces community, especially given how many of these businesses came from modest beginnings.
All finalists for the Business of the Year – Community Impact award have been selected for making a positive contribution to improving the lives of others whilst maintaining successful profitable businesses.
Finalist Services to Film provides employment opportunities to veterans as extras in movies and have developed relationships with other military charities to support veterans who require additional income but in a more flexible format. Finalist The Afghan Rug Shop is giving back to the community through providing an ethical service, as the only UK accredited Fairtrade rug supplier and by making charitable contributions to Afghanaid.
Finalist Taylored Games provides a platform for the local community to gather together and enjoy a real sense of community spirit through playing games together. Finalist Sinah Common Honey has made an inspirational commitment to the WIS community, sharing his passion for producing raw honey, by providing a beekeeping programme as part of a course at Help for Heroes Tidworth House Recovery Centre, as well as being instrumental in producing a beekeeping suit for prosthetic limb users.
Finalist Remembered is a charity that raises awareness of the sacrifices that the Armed Forces community has made for our country and they fundraise for medically injured veterans, and provide mentoring and rehabilitation support.
X-Forces Enterprise CEO and Soldiering On Awards judge, Ren Kapur MBE, commented on the 2019 finalists:
“From winning the Soldiering On Awards Business of the Year award to becoming part of the judging panel for other outstanding businesses has been an exciting and humbling journey.
“All the finalists of the Business of the Year categories have done exceptionally well to have started up such successful businesses and I am so proud of each and every one of them. They all serve as an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs in the Armed Forces community whether that is through overcoming adversity, breaking into new markets or supporting a social cause. Each of our finalists deserve a round of applause and much success for their achievements. It has been a pleasure to be part of the journey and being inspired by them all and I look forward to the announcement of the winners on the 5thApril!”