SUNDAY TIMES FAST TRACK 100 AWARDSMay 2014 | Event
The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 identifies Britain’s fastest growing private companies and over the past 17 years has become the most well-known barometer of health of the smaller growth companies in the UK economy.
BGF is proud to be a main sponsor of the Fast Track 100 for the first time in 2013/14.
The founders and directors of Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales were recognised on 13th May at an award ceremony, held at Sir Richard Branson’s family home in Oxfordshire.
Sir Richard congratulated the Fast Track 100 companies on their success and called on entrepreneurs to grasp new opportunities and take advantage of the country’s economic recovery. Now is a great time to grow a business, he said.
The prestigious award for the fastest-growing company went to Reading-based Anesco. Other award winners ranged from Fever Tress, a manufacturer of premium mixer drinks, to women’s clothing retailer Mint Velvet, with awards sponsored by BGF, Barclays, Baker Tilly, The Sunday Times and Virgin.
The Fast Track 100 best use of external expertise award, sponsored by BGF, was presented by our CEO Stephen Welton to Neil Simpson, finance director and Martin Dempster, operations director, of BrewDog, now Scotland’s biggest independent brewer. The company has crowd-funded £7m in growth capital, expanded into 30 countries with support from Scottish Enterprise, and hired industry veterans as board advisers.
The event began with an afternoon conference where over 300 guests heard from a range of inspirational speakers and panellists from past Fast Track league tables including John Roberts, co-founder and chief executive officer of AO.com, Simon Arora, joint managing director of B&M Retail, Larry Billett, director and former chairman of Pret A Manger, Richard Reed, co-founder of innocent, and Nick Wheeler, founder and chairman of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts.
Sir Richard Branson then took questions from the audience and was asked about how Virgin motivates its staff, progress with Virgin Galactic’s first space flight, and how he manages his time. “The most important advice I can give any entrepreneur is to find somebody to step into your shoes as early as you can in your career”, said Branson. “It will free you up to think about the bigger picture”.
The annual after-dinner charity auction benefitted young people in Britain through Virgin Strive’s support of the Big Change charitable trust, and budding entrepreneurs at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. It raised a remarkable £350,000 – taking the total raised by Fast Track 100 entrepreneurs over the last nine years to over £2m.
Profiles and financial information for each of the winning companies are available on the Fast Track website: www.fasttrack.co.uk.