Sarah Willingham, the British entrepreneur and star of TV show Dragons' Den, has championed small and medium-sized businesses at the 2015 Small Business Awards, saying they are the "backbone of our economy".
Willingham, who featured on the judging panel at the 2015 awards, sponsored by Nectar Business, said she was impressed by the candidates nominated. She said: "Britain has a great entrepreneurial appetite and SMEs are the backbone of our economy.
"I really was wowed by this year's Nectar Business Small Business Award winners. All six winners reiterate that with hard work and a clear vision, anything's possible. I hope that their achievements will motivate others to activate their own business ideas."
Ventia Ltd, a company that offers boutique offices in the heart of London, beat hundreds of UK SMEs to take the small business of the year crown. "Ventia is a really deserving winner of Nectar Business' small business of the year prize. Their success from design led conversions of period buildings into unique office spaces is inspired," Willingham said.
Steve Baker, founder of Ventia Ltd, said: "It's brilliant to have recognition in our sector and this win is an endorsement of the strength of our business, something our clients and customers will be pleased to hear."
Other winners on the night included Merci Maman winning entrepreneur of the year for her online bespoke jewellery boutique, C & J Heating and Plumbing Ltd winning tradesperson for the year, and Netduma Ltd, which picked up the innovation of the year award for providing next-generation router software.