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Children's publisher marks new chapter with national business award win

Press release   •   Sep 03, 2014 12:03 BST

Nosy Crow, an independent publisher of child-focused books and apps, has wowed the judges at this year’s Nectar Business Small Business Awards, beating hundreds of other UK-based SMEs to scoop the lead prize of Small Business of the Year 2014. 

Publishing pro and founder of Nosy Crow, Kate Wilson, impressed the panel of judges — which included star of BBC 1’s The Apprentice, Karren Brady CBE — with her clear business goals, strong corporate-social-responsibility projects and excellent end-user engagement. Kate will now attend the Nectar Business Round Table event, where she will have the opportunity to ask Karren for advice specific to her business.

Nosy Crow, which is based in South-East London, specialises in parent-friendly books, e-books and interactive story apps for children aged 0 to 12 years old, with a portfolio of over 60 authors and illustrators.

Commenting on Nosy Crow, Karren Brady says: “Nosy Crow is a very deserving winner of the Small Business of the Year prize in this year’s Nectar Business Small Business Awards, it’s a shining example of what this category stands for and a great business to inspire others to do something similar, to grow and to be a success – especially in the current economic market.”

Will Shuckburgh, Managing Director at Nectar, adds: “We are delighted to award Nosy Crow for its business success, it’s a great idea which has become hugely popular. The Nectar Business Small Business Awards seek to support businesses exactly like this to achieve their goals in industry. This year we’ve seen a large increase in the number and quality of entrants across the board. A number of the businesses are a real inspiration demonstrating the thriving entrepreneurial spirit prevalent across the UK.”

Kate will now join the winners of the Awards’ four other categories – Contribution to the Community, Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovation of the Year and Home Grown Business of the Year – at the Nectar Business Round Table event. The event forms part of the Awards ceremony and is hosted by the lead judge, Karren Brady, on 3rd September.

Other winners include Two Fingers Brewing Co., which won the Contribution to the Community Award, and Mask-arade, a novelty mask specialist, that impressed the judges to win the Home Grown Business of the Year prize — a new Award category for 2014.

Will Shuckburgh comments on Mask-arade’s success: “Mask-arade is a great business that was set up at the kitchen table, has enjoyed impressive growth and is now selling products in many high street shops. It very much deserves this Nectar Business Award due to its overall performance, along with its ability to secure business exclusives.”

Karren Brady also states: “Mask-arade’s growth is in part thanks to the team’s excellent marketing strategies and general business initiative to spot a genuine gap in the market. I am looking forward to meeting the people behind such a good business idea.”

Two Fingers Brewing Co. was founded by seven keen beer fans and is the only company of its kind to give all profits to Prostate Cancer UK. The company won the Contribution to the Community Award as voted for by the public via the Nectar Business Facebook page.

The Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2014, which were free to enter, celebrate the achievements of successful small businesses and business people across the UK. As well as the business advice provided by Karren Brady, winners also receive £2,000 cash and 50,000 Nectar points.

The judging panel was made up of respected industry figures including; Karren Brady; Nectar Managing Director, Will Shuckburgh; Head of Merchant & Packaged Gases at BOC, Nathan Palmer; Director of Sales and Marketing at Viking, Richard Carvell; and Nectar Business Small Business of the Year 2013 and Founder of Goody Good, Stuff Melissa Burton.

The winning companies included Nosy Crow for Small Business of the Year; Mask-arade for Home-Grown Business of the Year; Two Fingers Brewing Co. for Contribution to the Community; Vaiopak Ltd for Entrepreneur of the Year; and Holly and Beau for Innovation of the Year. High-end maternity-wear specialist Tiffany Rose was awarded Highly Commended in the Entrepreneur of the Year category.


Notes to editors

Nectar Business Small Business Awards Social Media:

Twitter:  @nectarbusiness   #NBsba14

About the Nectar Business Small Business Awards:

  • The Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2014 provide small businesses with the opportunity to gain the rewards and recognition they deserve
  • The five Award categories taken through to shortlisting are:

1.  Small Business of the Year

2.  Innovation of the Year

3.  Home Grown Business of the Year (New for 2014)

4.  Entrepreneur of the Year

5.  Contribution to the Community

  • Awards 1-4 are judged by a panel of experts which include; Karren Brady CBE, 2013 winner Melissa Burton of Goody Good Stuff, Nathan Palmer of BOC, Richard Carvell of Viking, and Will Shuckburgh of Nectar
  • The fifth Award, the Contribution to the Community Award, was open to public vote via
  • The winners of the Nectar Business Small Business Awards will receive £2,000 and 50,000 Nectar points and participate in an industry round table event with Karren Brady
  • Case studies of the 2013 and 2014 Nectar Business Small Business Awards winners are available

Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2014 Judges:

  • Karren Brady CBE: Karren is a leading business woman, star of BBC 1’s The Apprentice, the government’s small business ambassador and vice-chairman of West Ham United.
  • Will Shuckburgh: Will is Managing Director of Nectar. He took on this new role last year, having previously held the position of managing director of European commercial development at Nectar’s parent company, Aimia.
  • Nathan Palmer: Nathan is director of bulk and packaged gases at BOC, a Nectar Business partner. He joined BOC in 2002 and has held senior positions in Group strategy, general management and sales leadership.
  • Richard Carvell: Richard is director of sales and marketing at Viking, a Nectar Business partner. He is a senior business leader with extensive experience in direct and business to business commerce, general management and operations.
  • Melissa Burton: Melissa won the Small Business of the Year Award in the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2013. She is the founder of Goody Good Stuff, a Heysham-based confectionary brand which specialises in natural gummy sweets.

About Nectar Business

  • Launched in January 2005, Nectar Business has over 600,000 business collectors
  • Nectar Business partners include: Viking, BOC, Dulux Decorator Centres, Brakes, DHL, Hertz and American Express
  • Collect points online with over 500 retailers – including Viking, Currys, Argos, McAfee, PC World Business
  • Other Nectar partners include: eBay, Sainsbury’s, BP, Homebase and British Gas
  • Nectar Business cardholders turn their points into rewards with partners including; Argos, Vue and easyJet