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24 May 2019

UK's snack entrepreneurs recognised by FSB

  • Kent Crisps Ltd. has scooped the Micro-Business of the Year Award at FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2019

  • Innovative popped ‘not corn’ brand is runner up in Business and Product Innovation Award category

Two small snack businesses, owned and run by women entrepreneurs, have been recognised at the 2019 FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards held in London on 23 May.

Kent Crisps Ltd. is owned by entrepreneur Laura Bounds, who took the business from running at a loss to turning a profit within the first six months of ownership. Snack market disrupter Not.Corn, started by entrepreneur Rushina Shar was a runner up in the Business and Product Innovation Award category with its family-inspired popped sorghum snack product.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Despite the pressures facing many small businesses - particularly those on the high street - there’s a world of opportunity to succeed as a food and drink entrepreneur. It’s fantastic that this year we recognise some strong small snack businesses.”

To make her crisps truly Kentish, Laura Bounds works closely with local producers to create unique flavours, such as Smoked Chipotle Chilli (with the Kent Chilli Farm) and Roast Beef with Spitfire Ale (with Shepherd Neame), and showcase some of the best produce in the county. These flavours are then matched with landscapes and monuments synonymous with Kent in an effort to drive tourism to the area that are displayed on the packets. These include Canterbury Cathedral, Beach Huts at Seasalter, Ramsgate Harbour and the White Cliff of Dover. The brand is stocked in independent outlets and in selected Waitrose, Co-op, and Asda stores.

Snack disrupter Not.Corn was a runner-up in the Business and Product Innovation Award category. After watching her aunt popping sorghum as a snack, founder Rushina Shar saw the opportunity to start her own business. Leaving behind her brand management role, she launched Not.Corn in 2017 after researching the nutritional benefits of sorghum. The brand is focusing on further product development and has plans to expand its retail listings.

Kent Crisps Ltd. owner and manager, Laura Bounds, said: “I am extremely proud to be names FSB’s Micro Business of the Year. In an extremely competitive industry, my team and I have been able to create a fresh and vibrant product that is truly local. Building strong relationships with Kent producers and highlighting the region are keys to our success. This allows us to create uniquely Kentish flavours that are unmatched by other crisp brands on the market. I can’t wait to continue developing our new crisp flavours and working towards a time where Kent Crisps are filling every lunchbox in the UK!”

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “Congratulations to all of the fantastic small businesses who have won and been nominated for this year’s FSB Small Business Awards.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and as a former small business owner, I’m passionate about helping them seize opportunities and ensuring they can thrive in the future. Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to growing our status as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.”


Note to Editors

About small businesses in the UK
There are 5.6 million small businesses in the UK and these account for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses. The combined annual turnover of SMBs in 2018 was £2 trillion, 52 per cent of all private sector turnover. SMBs account for at least 99.5 per cent of the businesses in every main industry sector. There has been a significant increase in the economic contribution generated by women entrepreneurs over the last few years, according to a recent FSB report. Almost 40 per cent of the award finalists were businesses owned by women.

About the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards
More than 2,000 small businesses from across the UK and from almost every sector entered this year’s FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards and the UK final was held following area finals in each English region and devolved nation. The awards, run by the Federation of Small Businesses celebrate and recognise the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed.