HUNDREDS of nominations have been whittled down to a shortlist for the South West Business & Community Awards 2019.

The awards scheme, organised by Great British Expos, recognises the region’s most ambitious, inspirational and exciting businesses, charities and individuals.

A record number of entries meant it was the toughest year to create its shortlist, however the shortlisted nominees have been released and can be seen via the following link:

Among the current shortlisted nominations are entrepreneurs who had innovated unique solutions to the problems they faced, put their heart and soul into making their industry better, overcome personal and professional hardship to triumph in business, and more.

This year, the standard of entrants is already very high that we might exceed last year’s shortlisted record of 165 for the awards across the award categories. While we cannot give all nominees an award, each winner is truly deserving of recognition for their achievements.

The South West Business and Community Awards judging process will see a range of esteemed entrepreneurs come together to scrutinise and select our finalists from the short-listed nominees and choose the winners among them.

James Phipps (Renowned South West Entrepreneur) is again part of the judging panel and said: “Judging this year’s awards will be tough. Every entry is of a very high standard and each one is unique which makes the decision harder. I’m very proud of the quality of businesses that we have in this region and these awards give them the true recognition that they deserve.”

Alec Jones-Hall, Director of South West Business and Community Award’s said: “We are proud and excited to be celebrating outstanding achievement across the region and rewarding those who are making a huge impact throughout the South West.”

The winners from the 14 categories will be announced at the award ceremony in The DoubleTree by Hilton, at Swindon, on Thursday, January 23rd with one being hailed The Business of the Year. The stars of the ceremony will undoubtedly be the Awards winners.


The award hostess is Alison Edgar who is based within the South West and is renowned for helping entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes. She is incredibly passionate about helping startups and SMEs which is why she has been voted one of the UK’s top 10 business advisors, won multiple awards and been invited to both Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. Alison is regularly featured in The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and is also on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC.

Our headline entertainer will be Tiny Tina Turner, and her six-piece band will provide the entertainment. She has worked on some big shows, and with some of the biggest names. Tiny Tina Turner is one of Europe’s best Tina Turner impersonators. She has the voice and the mannerisms which really do reproduce the stage charisma of Tina. Nominees can expect to be entertained by Miri and her high energy six-piece band playing all the popular Tina Turner songs, as well as a few other favourites along the way! Capture the “Simply the best” moment as Miri and her band deliver a pulsating show, emulating the sounds of the greatest ever female Rock.

More entertainment will be provided by Sparky & Sprite as they cover acts like Abba & Elvis. Mark ‘Sparky’ Harding and Anne ‘Sprite’ Jeffery are an experienced duo who sing songs from the 1940s, 50’s & 60’s along with plenty of modern tunes.

Our keynote dinner speaker is One of Britain’s most famous athletes, Derek Redmond. Derek is a World and European relay champion. Having broken the British 400m record on two occasions, Derek was one of the country’s best athletes during the 1980s and 1990s. A key member of the relay squad that won gold at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, he competed at the highest level for over a decade. In the 400m semi-final, Derek went into the race amongst the favourites but as he passed the 250m mark he tore his hamstring. Determined to finish the race he hobbled to the finish line with the help of his father as a 65,000-strong crowd cheered him on. This incident has since been voted one of the Olympics’ most inspirational moments by US network NBC and even referenced by Barack Obama in a presidential speech.  

Derek’s story is truly inspiring, and he now works as a motivational speaker sharing his remarkable story with audiences up and down the country. He has worked with a wide range of high-profile brands delivering his inspiring stories from the track in corporate environments. 

The main sponsor Paul Waite, founder and chief executive of Aspen Waite, said: “Aspen Waite is delighted to be sponsoring the South West Business and Community Awards, an area with a diverse range of ambitious businesses we are passionate about supporting. We believe companies of all sizes deserve great advice – and those that strive to be the best should be recognised for their efforts. We look forward to seeing you on the evening.”

Confirmed sponsors are Aspen Waite, Excalibur Communications, Speedy Services, Henry Howard Finance, Smarter Media, Fiona Scott, Hills Waste Solutions, The Business Exchange, Media hut, Devmac, Thomas International and Great British Expos.