Do you know a business that has gone above and beyond?
Small and local businesses up and down the country have shown inspiring energy and resilience in meeting the extraordinary challenges of 2020.
Lloyds Bank is offering the chance for these business owners to win a virtual mentoring session with an experienced business leader. The session will provide insight and support to help them navigate the challenges of the year ahead.
If you have been inspired by a small business’s resilience, innovation or sheer determination this year, why not nominate them to win this unique prize?
Whether you’re a customer, employee or business partner, we want to hear why your nominated business deserves this chance to get some extra support as we head into winter and 2021.
Entries will be shortlisted by News UK and the final winners judged by Anthony Impey, CEO, Be the Business. Winners will be selected on the basis of how creatively and how quickly they adapted to the challenges of 2020, and how they went over and above expectations.
Our four online mentoring sessions will take place in January and February 2021 with entrepreneurs Joe Wicks MBE, Levi Roots, Sharmadean Reid MBE and Lord Karan Bilimoria, and each session will offer up to six winning business owners the opportunity to meet their mentor online.
Competition Terms & Conditions
Bindi is incredibly passionate about all things startup in Europe and is focused on advising and connecting across four core innovation pillars (Corporate, Startup, VC Managing Partners, Government) for commercial success. She has worked in and around technology startups for most of her career. As a Consultant (PwC Consulting), as a Corporate (Microsoft BizSpark /Ventures), as a Startup employee (Trayport), as an Advisor (Startup Europe, TechStars Startup Weekend, Tech London Advocates, European Innovation Council, WEF), as a Connector (GQ UK, the IoD and Evening Standard have all recognised this) and as their Banker (Silicon Valley Bank). Finally, she is also a Venture Partner at Draper Esprit, a large European VC.
Arinola is the founder of bMoneyWize whose mission is to improve financial literacy and numeracy skills for young people. She is passionate about demystifying the subject of money, to increase their awareness about how money works in an increasingly ‘cashless society’. After being inspired by her 14 year old daughter, Arinola created the concept of a board game that addresses financial wellbeing and education. The game uses real-life situations that are relatable to young people and equips them with the confidence, knowledge, and key skills to value money in a fun way.
Karan Bilimoria is the founder of Cobra Beer, Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership Limited, a Joint Venture with Molson Coors, and Chairman of Molson Coors Cobra India. In the Monde Selection, one of the most prestigious quality awards in the world for beer, the Cobra range have collectively been awarded a total of 121 Gold and Grand Gold medals since 2001, making it one of the most awarded beers in the world.
Lord Bilimoria is the Founding Chairman of the UK India Business Council, a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, a former Chancellor of Thames Valley University (now the University of West London); he was the youngest University Chancellor in the UK when appointed. Karan was a former Senior Non-Executive Director of the Booker Group now Tesco PLC (2007-2016); he is one of the first two visiting entrepreneurs at the University of Cambridge; he is a founding member of the Prime Minister of India’s Global Advisory Council. In 2006, Karan Bilimoria was appointed the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, making him the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords. In 2008 he was awarded the Pravasi Bharti Samman by the President of India. He is an Honorary Fellow of Sidney Sussex College Cambridge and was Chair of the Advisory Board of the Judge Business School, Cambridge University from 2015-2020 and subsequently appointed as an Honorary Ambassador.
He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and graduated in law from the University of Cambridge. He is also an alumnus through executive education of the Cranfield School of Management, the London Business School and the Harvard Business School. In July 2014, he was installed as the seventh Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, making him the first Indian-born Chancellor of a Russell Group University in Great Britain, and he is the President of the UK Council for International Students Affairs (UKCISA). Since 2017 Lord Bilimoria has been a Bynum Tudor Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Lord Bilimoria is an Honorary Group Captain in 601 Squadron Royal Air Force. In June 2020, he was appointed President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). In September 2020, he was appointed as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford based at the Centre for Corporate Reputation.
Martin Drake-Knight and his brother Rob built the world's first open-access circular supply chain for t-shirts. They started Rapanui in 2009 with a mission to redesign the way clothing is made in order to create truly sustainable products from natural materials, using renewable energy, and designed to come back and be remade when they are worn out. From humble beginnings based in a garden shed with only £200 of start-up capital, they are now at the helm of a multi-million pound business that's considered a world-leader in circular economy innovation.
Martin and his team decided to build their own factories and redesign the entire clothing production process, from hacking printing technology to experimenting with different materials, inks and robots to create products that come back to be remade and never enter landfill. In June 2014, they decided to share what they had learned openly online, and created the groundbreaking Teemill platform which enables anyone to build a sustainable fashion brand on their circular supply chain. Today Teemill is used by tens of thousands of businesses around the world for real-time production of sustainable products.
Martin believes that building an innovative business is as much about attitude as it is about technical know-how and expertise. He also wants to encourage and nurture young talent from the company’s base on the Isle of Wight to be part of this philosophy, and the company supports initiatives to help young Islanders into jobs where they learn how to code, weld and build robots that help change the future of fashion.
Paul is a senior leader with 30 years of experience in financial services. He leads a network of regional teams who support some 60,000 small and medium-sized corporate businesses across the UK and is the Chairman of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation. Paul has held a number of leadership roles in various businesses at Lloyds Bank, including Managing Director, Consumer & Commercial Cards, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank International based in Sydney and Director for Lloyds Bank business across Asia. He has also led on a number of major business transformations, including the £2 billion acquisition and integration of MBNA from Bank of America and the acquisition and integration of HBoS Corporate and Commercial Bank.
Gwynne joined Lloyds Bank in February 2018 to lead the GTB FI & NBFI Sales teams. In 2019, Gwynne was asked to lead Lloyds Bank GTB Global Trade business, which includes Open Account and Traditional Trade, Trade Product, Solutions and Sales across SME, Mid-Caps, Large Corporates and FIs. Gwynne has significant International experience through her time with Standard Chartered, Barclays Asia, and Wachovia. Gwynne spent 18 years in Asia, where she was Managing Director, Head of Asia FI and Co-Head of Asia Corporate with Barclays, with a focus on Transaction Banking solutions. Prior to joining Barclays in 2008, Gwynne was CEO & MD of Southeast Asia for Wachovia Bank, leading six offices in the region, based in Singapore. In her earlier career with Wachovia, Gwynne was based in both the U.S. and Milan, undertaking a number of coverage and leadership roles in the US, Italy and Southern Europe.
Imran Merza started his career within Investment Banking, and after roughly ten years escaped the city to embark on his entrepreneurial journey. He started Jealous Sweets, a plant-based, tastier and better for you confectionery brand with a university friend Taz Basunia. Initially launched as a premium offering in Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, recently the brand has transitioned into a pure global grocery business working with the likes of Asda, Holland & Barrett, Ocado and Wholefoods in the UK and have now reached Asia, Europe and North America with an aggressive expansion endeavour. Imran is passionate about plant-based living, travelling the world and mentoring other start-ups and living a balanced life.
Gareth's current role is Managing Director Business Banking where he has responsibility for a million business customers. He is a trustee for the Lloyds Bank Foundation and Chairman of the UK Finance Corporate and Commercial board.
Gareth has over 30 years of experience in banking and has run a number of large businesses within many of the Bank’s divisions including Retail Banking, Wealth Management and Commercial. He was also formerly Chairman of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) and Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for the East.
Having cut her teeth writing about technology more than a decade ago, Hannah now specialises in entrepreneurship, leadership and management. She is the deputy editor of The Times Enterprise Network, the dedicated channel for entrepreneurs and business owners, and regularly hosts events including The Times CEO Summit. She is also a contributor to Times Radio.
Sharmadean Reid is an entrepreneur, and founder of Beautystack and WAH Nails. Her mission is to use technology to empower women, economically, socially and culturally. She is a former fashion stylist and brand consultant who started WAH as a hip hop magazine for girls in 2006 while still at university and founded WAH Nails as a side project in 2009.
WAH completely changed the beauty landscape with its millennial voice, feminist attitude and innovative salon space. She then wrote two books, delivered global pop up nail salons for 100s of brands, created a product line with Walgreen Boots Alliance and was awarded an MBE from HRH Queen in 2015 for services to beauty. With her experience from WAH, she founded Beautystack, a new way to book beauty through images.
The infamous Mr Levi Roots - aka the Dragon Slayer and entrepreneur chef first shot to fame on BBC2's Dragon's Den in 2007. Levi Roots has been a great pioneer for Caribbean food and products, as a result of his continued hard work Caribbean food now has a place in the hearts of the Great British public.
With his spirited Reggae Reggae Sauce song he charmed Dragons Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh into investing in his spicy homemade sauce, which was a secret recipe inspired by his beloved grandmother and the cooking she taught him. With an exclusive launch at Sainsburys, Reggae Reggae sauce was flying off the shelves to be very quickly outselling Heinz Tomato Ketchup within its first few weeks.
Levi has managed to find time to pursue one of his enduring passions as an author to write several cookbooks. He has further brought these books to a wider audience with his popular BBC cooking show Caribbean Food Made Easy. Alongside his cookbooks Levi has penned his business guide manual You Can Get It If You Really Want. He is a great advocate for small to medium size businesses and is often found mentoring young entrepreneurs.
As a licensing brand, Levi has partnered with some of the best names in the food industry and as a result has a wide range of products placed on all of our supermarket shelves. Reggae Reggae Sauce was where the journey started. Levi now has several products under licence with some very exciting new additions to the brand coming this summer.
Bored of retirement, Teddy started a new business, in a new area with a new set of challenges. With the revolution of e-transport, people want to reduce their own carbon emitting transport but want help choosing what's best for them. EcoMove EV Group Ltd do just that helping and advising on an all electric range of e-scooters, e-bikes, e-mopeds and soon to add e-cars. They sell the best in class in each range so whether a journey is a mile or several miles they can provide a solution. Before EcoMove he was a director with both national and international sales and marketing experience in multi-billion dollar corporations responsible for creating and executing global strategies.
Joe helped to keep Britain's (and the world's!) spirits high by becoming the 'Nation's PE Teacher' during 'lockdown'. Every weekday, Joe delivered remote 'PE' sessions to children and adults alike and truly became a national treasure. He even broke a Guinness World Record after one of his 'PE' classes was watched by 955,000 people, handing him the record for most viewers of a workout live stream on YouTube! Not stopping there, Joe raised over £500,000 for the NHS through his daily workouts and was awarded an MBE in October 2020 for his work during the pandemic.
Joe has hosted his own Channel 4 series, broke a Guinness World Record and has won the nation over with his Lean in 15 recipes, online plan and free fitness videos.