Double delight for FSB Award Winners

Local News 1 Mar 2024

Two North East Scotland businesses made it a double as their winning streak continued at FSB Scotland’s Celebrating Small Business Awards.

HR Hub Plus Limited, run by Aberdeen-based Edward Obi, added to the Service Excellence Award they picked up last year by claiming the 2024 Community Award.  

The business was singled out for its commitment to community welfare, the provision of 10 six-week work placements, ongoing year-long placements, and pro bono HR assistance to charities. These initiatives have not only helped foster community development but have also contributed to long-term sustainability by establishing meaningful connections and partnerships within the local community. 

Also scooping an award for the second year running is the team behind last year’s Start up-Business of the Year – Aberdeen-based ABERDAM Dutch Fries, who retain the category with their latest offering, SHOT 'N' ROLL

Run by two young entrepreneurs who describe themselves as “90s kids who grew up listening to mid-late noughties pop-punk music through their teens”, SHOT ‘N’ ROLL occupies part of an old department store which they have quickly redeveloped. Despite being in the early months of trading, they’ve gone from strength to strength: exceeding their sales targets, introducing new products, re-investing profits and launching a branded Tuk Tuk as a corporate delivery vehicle and local Aberdeenshire community collection service at weekends. 

Other winners include Young Entrepreneur Sandie Gordon in the North of the Highlands, who last year set up Candles from the Croft; Micro Business of the Year, Coolicon Lighting Ltd, from Edinburgh who are seeing continued growth into new international markets; and Innovation award winners CCU International, a pioneering startup revolutionising carbon capture with next generation technology.  

Pauline Weddell, Scotland Region Group Chair, said: 

“Congratulations to all this year’s Scotland FSB Celebrating Small Business Award winners.  

“It’s been another challenging year for our smallest operators, but also another year where we’ve been inundated with fantastic entries from across the country representing every sector and demographic. 

“All of the 2024 winners deserve the utmost recognition for their innovation, tenacity and vibrancy – qualities that characterise our small business community.” 

The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards showcase the best small businesses from the length and breadth of the country, offering national recognition for those who have made the biggest impression over the last 12 months. Finalists across 12 areas now proceed to the national UK finals taking place at a VIP attended awards ceremony on 9 May in Blackpool. 

Pauline added: 

“Businesses from Scotland have a long and strong tradition of success at the FSB UK final with two Scottish finalists scooping top prizes in 2023. I have no doubt this year’s finalists from Scotland will put on another strong show and I’d like to wish all those attending the very best of luck.”  

The full list of the Scotland winners can be found below: 

Innovation Award 

Winner: CCU International, Edinburgh  

CCU International (CCUI) is a pioneering startup revolutionising carbon capture with its next generation, proprietary technology that can not only capture but also refine carbon dioxide directly from industry chimney, flue, and exhaust stacks, and utilise the captured CO2 back into industry or convert to valued commodities like aggregates for construction material, sustainable aviation fuels and surfactants that go into household consumer products.   

Expansion and Growth Award 

Winner: Rose Marketing UK Limited, Kirkcaldy, Fife 

Rose Marketing UK Limited is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of confectionery and drinks. A one stop shop, offering must-have 'Confectionery at your Convenience'                                                     

Rose has an internal R&D team ready to help source new lines or develop and enhance an existing range of confectionery. The limit is your imagination. Rose works with some of the top licenses developing unique and appealing kids novelty confectionery that drive sales, improves overall brand awareness and support broader licensing strategies. They work closely with designers and adhere to brand guidelines with a sprinkling of industry know-how to develop just the right products to appeal directly to client target audiences and help support brand growth. They work with top licenses including Vimto, Tango, Swizzels, The Snowman and The Snowdog, Robinsons, Chupa Chips and The Broons and have a number of in-house widely recognised brands including Eezy Freezzy, Goody-licious, Giant Candy Company, The Candy Castle Crew, State of Choc and Mega Candy Company. 

Sustainability Award 

Winner: DM Training Consultants Ltd and Replenish, Portlethen, Aberdeenshire 

With more than 25 years' experience of the hospitality industry and an understanding of exceeding customer expectations through training excellence, Donna Maver established DM Training in 2005. DM Training provides training to organisations of various sizes across Scotland. DM Training was Donna's only focus until she was forced to diversify during the 2020 pandemic. Her passion for North-east produce, supporting the local economy, and providing smarter ways to shop to reduce environmental impact inspired Donna to open Replenish- a refill store, selling seasonal fruit & veg, eco products and providing shopping choices to reduce waste, food miles, and save customers money. 

Family Business of the Yea

Winner: ITC Hydraulic Services Ltd, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire 

ITC is a specialist engineering and manufacturing company providing equipment design & build, fabrication & machining, refurbishment & repair services, and is the Scottish/UK distributor for a number of premium component manufacturers. Complimenting these is an extensive fleet of rental equipment. Founded 24 years ago, employing 24 staff, the company has developed a reputation of innovation, quality, flexibility, timely response, and value. Innovation has seen the company develop several unique and world first technologies for use in decommissioning, marine, and subsea operations. 

Microbusiness of the Year 

Winner: Coolicon Lighting Ltd, Edinburgh  

Coolicon Lighting is a heritage craft brand, specialising in handmade Vitreous Enamel pendant lampshades, since 1933. Recognised for its vented design and authentic handmade production, the Coolicon lampshade transformed British lighting and industry as the original bi-directional light. Following years of research and development to revive traditional skills, Coolicon Lighting re-established UK production. Handmade in England and true to the patent, the same traditional techniques and craft processes of 1933 are still used to produce Coolicon Lampshades to this day, transitioning seamlessly from factories and heavy industry into today's contemporary interiors.  

Self-employed / Freelancer Award 

Winner: Laura Ripley (Northern Frights), Portlethen, Aberdeenshire 

Northern Frights, led by Laura, the 2023 RBS Female Entrepreneur of the Year, excels in crafting immersive experiences in horror, fantasy, and wonder. From haunted houses to medieval festivals and horror campsites, they use top-notch props, effects, and actors for thrilling events. Catering to conventions, private functions like weddings, and corporate events, they operate throughout the year. A local North Scotland business, they support regional suppliers, actors, and charities. Whether you're a horror aficionado, a fantasy lover, or seeking a unique adventure, Northern Frights offers unforgettable experiences. Contact them to plan your next extraordinary event. 

Start-up Business of the Year 

Winner: SHOT 'N' ROLL, Aberdeen  

SHOT 'N' ROLL is coffee and bake shop specialising in fresh baked and fully loaded gooey cinnamon rolls, locally roasted specialist coffee and ever-changing line up of incredible sweet bakes! They bring back the nostalgic era of naughties pop-punk throughout their cafe and supplementary branding to create a fresh, eye-catching and unique experience. 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year 

Winner: Sandie Gordon (Candles from the Croft), Altass, By Lairg, Sutherland 

Sandie Gordon is an ambitious and driven young entrepreneur nestled in the North of the Scottish Highlands. She realised there was a gap in the market within her local area and began extensive market research before registering her business Candles from the Croft. Her main goal was to achieve an affordable product with that of luxurious quality. As her research deepened, she realised there was so much more than just a one-time purchase to offer, she could offer a sustainable product while using and benefiting the land of the Croft she was brought up on around her. 

Franchise Business Award 

Winner: Boogie Beat Music and Movement Edinburgh, Mid and East Lothian 

Mairi is the owner of Boogie Beat Music and Movement Edinburgh, Mid and East Lothian. With her team of three, they provide engaging music, movement classes and workshops in the community for families, schools, nurseries and for children’s Birthday parties. They also run Intergenerational workshops in care homes and day centres. Mairi has been running the business for just over one year having moved from being a Primary School teacher and in this first year she has grown Boogie Beats presence in her area significantly and already has big plans for year two!  

Community Business Award 

Winner: HR Hub Plus Limited, Cove, Aberdeen 

Established in 2018 under the leadership of Edward Obi, a devoted single father and Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, HR Hub Plus Limited is a premier HR solutions provider. Specializing in HR support, eLearning courses for workplace Health & Safety, HR compliance, and soft skills training, the organization stands out for its innovative approach. Edward Obi’s commitment to excellence has positioned HR Hub Plus Limited as a trusted partner for businesses seeking strategic HR solutions. The organisation’s comprehensive services and Edward’s leadership have solidified its role as a valuable resource in the competitive landscape of HR and compliance. 

Diversity and Inclusion Award 

Winner: Beyond Green, Edinburgh  

Beyond Green is an award-winning team of sustainability advisors helping businesses make better choices by future-proofing their operations, protecting their profit margins, and building their values into their business. They deliver value to their clients by empowering them to make informed decisions about their environmental impacts and their journey to Net Zero, supported by Beyond Green’s technical expertise and inclusive approach to project delivery. They’re committed to making a positive difference, as evidenced by their certifications, memberships, and awards - like their B Corp status (recertified 2021), their Disability Confident Leader membership (2023), or their VIBES Good Practice Award (2021). 

Service Excellence Award 

Winner: Seabirds-and-Seals: The Original Noss Boat Tours, Gulberwick, Shetland 

A small family run business providing wildlife boat tours around the islands of Bressay & Noss National Nature Reserve. Operating from the months of April through to early October, weather permitting, they provide fun-filled tours to suit all ages/interests/capabilities with live commentary throughout. On their amazing wildlife spectacular, our passengers get to enjoy Shetland's abundant wildlife, guaranteeing close of views of Noss National Nature Reserve, one of Britain's most sensational reserves. Their team are enthusiasts passionate about our local wildlife, heritage, geology, history and much more. A business that strongly believes in 'inclusion for all'.   

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