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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

Sharp Thinking Marketing attend the Small Awards as a small business finalist

Nat Sharp dressed up and ready to attend The Small Awards 2024 in London

A night of triumph and tribute at the Small Awards

I had the incredible honour of attending the prestigious Small Awards as a finalist in the Supply Chain Champion category. Organised by Small Business Britain, this was a memorable evening that I’ll treasure forever. The Small Awards team certainly knows how to pull off an awards event with the wow factor.

Celebrating small businesses nationwide

Now in its eighth year, The Small Awards is a nationwide search for the smallest and greatest 5.5 million firms in the UK. The awards aim to champion, inspire, and accelerate the entire small business sector focusing on businesses often overlooked by other awards.

The Supply Chain Champion category, in which Sharp Thinking Marketing was a finalist, celebrates small businesses working within the business supply chain. It means a huge amount to me to have been shortlisted, given that thousands of businesses applied and Sharp Thinking was one of only eight finalists in its category. These awards are not just about recognition; they’re about championing small businesses that put purpose over profit.

2024 finalists of best supply chain champion at the Small Awards

Volunteering and community empowerment

Over the years, I’ve dedicated myself to volunteering for causes close to my heart and empowering community-led organisations and solopreneurs. From volunteering at schools, charities, and community organisations to raise awareness and provide business advice, to offering free business mentoring for five years in Kent, and last November providing over 30 local businesses with free business advice as part of the Small Business Sessions, my journey has been profoundly rewarding.

“The Small Awards is all about celebrating the inspiring small business owners who are at the heart of the economy and their communities. They’re an opportunity to recognise and applaud the passion and resilience of the nation’s small firms, particularly amidst such turbulent times. Sharp Thinking Marketing is extremely deserving of being shortlisted for this award.Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain

An evening to remember

Judged by a panel of industry experts, the winners of all categories were announced at the awards ceremony in Marylebone, London on 16th May 2024. The judges, from the small business sector, entrepreneurs, investors, public sector, and media, are some of the most well-respected small business experts in the UK, including representatives from eBay, BT, and Lloyds TSB.

The ceremony was held at the beautiful Grade 1 listed St Mary’s Church in London. It was a night of entertainment and celebration for the UK’s greatest small businesses. The atmosphere was electric, and Sue Perkins was a brilliant host. Witty, smart, and keeping the evening pacey, she made sure the event was engaging from start to finish.

The event opened with Europe's largest gay men's choir, the London Gay Men’s Chorus, who regularly play to sell-out crowds at Southbank Centre, Cadogan Hall, and the Roundhouse. Their performance was outstanding, perfectly opening the evening with renditions of “Simply the Best” by the late Tina Turner and Erasure’s “A Little Respect.”

Founder Michelle Ovens CBE then delivered a heartfelt, inspiring speech, followed by the most uplifting showreel of all the finalists set to Dua Lipa's "Dance the Night." The whole Barbie theme carried into the night with quotes peppered around the venue, pink cowboy hats given out, and Barbie pink wearable balloon wristbands and hairpieces created by the talented Miss Ballooniverse.

A celebration of stories and achievements

The passion, commitment, and humbling stories of everyone I spoke with were truly inspiring. Each individual there had grafted and persevered through tough times to get where they are today. Good things don’t come easy, and everyone had the most incredible story to tell. They were all over the moon to be there, and although there was no award win for me this time, I loved every minute of the event. The winners and finalists were truly deserving.

A special congratulations to OutBritain, who won Best Supply Champion, Silver and Steel Studios, who won Best Start-Up (and were sitting at our table), and Green Doors, the overall winner of the evening.

A huge well done to everyone involved and the Small Business Britain team, who certainly know how to throw a memorable event with the wow factor. Although it sounds cliché, it really is the taking part that counts. It didn’t matter that there was no win; being invited to be part of this celebration and community was a real win in my eyes.

I want to extend my thanks to Small Business Britain for this incredible opportunity. The night was a testament to the resilience, innovation, and unwavering spirit of small businesses across the UK.


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