The winners of the 2018 National Enterprise Network Awards were announced on Friday 16th November. Host Nick Pandolfi named winners in five categories at the Awards ceremony, part of the day-long National Enterprise Network Annual Conference, sponsored by Barclays and held at Barclays Head Office in Canary Wharf, London.
Established in 2007, the awards recognise excellence in the delivery of enterprise support, encouraging the exchange of good practice and the development of improved services and organisations. This year’s categories were: Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year, Enterprise Engagement Award, Unsung Hero of the Year Award and Enterprise Team of the Year Award. Outgoing NEN Chairman, Graham Marley also presented an additional Chairman’s Award, in recognition of the exceptional work of one of its members.
The penultimate category of the programme – Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year Award – was split into two sub categories to reflect differing turnover. This category sought to recognise organisations with enterprise support at their very hearts. In the under £750k turnover sub category, the Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year was awarded to Airedale Enterprise Services. Within their local area, Airedale Enterprise Service has a strong and trusted reputation. During its 35 year history, the organisation has shown a great deal of adaptability and diversification in order to keep offering enterprise support services to start-ups for free. The team works hard to offer an ever-evolving selection of business clubs, networking meetings, presentations and topical events for the local businesses within their region. The judges felt that this is an organisation which provides outstanding enterprise support services to a community in which it is firmly embedded.
The Unsung Hero category asked members to nominate someone from their team whose contribution is crucial in meeting the needs of the business and its clients. Sonia Patel from Yorkshire-based Airedale Enterprise Services, was announced as the winner in this category. Sonia was described by her team as “an absolute star and great asset”. Since joining the organisation 5 years ago on a graduate programme, Sonia has made a huge impact and impression on everyone in the organisation. She has flourished and used her creativity and customer service skills to create a new role for herself as a Digital Marketing specialist, enabling Airedale Enterprise Services to offer this out as a new service to clients. It was clear that Sonia’s colleagues felt lucky and proud to have her as part of their team, and that she is an inspiration to those around her.