Best Use of Technology





  • HTEC
  • TJ Waste & Recycling
  • TouchNetix
  • Webcore/Onefeed
  • Zylpha

Best Use of Technology – sponsored by Taylor Made Computer Solutions

This award recognises new technological and innovative ideas in their broadest sense, and champions the role that technology and innovation play in creating successful businesses across the Solent.

We are looking for the business that best demonstrates how a new technical innovation has achieved commercial success for the business, as well as contributed to the economic growth of the region.

The technical innovation must have been developed with a view to creating new commercial opportunities for the business, to increase its profitability, or to exploit a gap in the market and capitalise on it for the benefit of the business.

Corporate Social Responsibility Award


Southampton International Airport



  • Grant Thornton UK
  • Paris Smith
  • The Churchill Foundation
  • The Green House Hotel

Corporate Social Responsibility Award – sponsored by The Business Magazine

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award celebrates business excellence and innovation in CSR across a broad range of disciplines. Nominations should cover at least two of the following areas – promotion of employee well-being, reduction of carbon footprint, improving the sustainability of processes in the workplace, community engagement, protection of the natural environment, supply chain, partnership, leadership and philanthropy.

SMEs and large organisations will be judged not just on the size and impact of the project, but by the resources used within the business in order to deliver it. The Judges will also be looking for good governance, management and a continuing commitment to sustainability.

The winner of this award will be setting new standards of excellence and leading the way for other organisations to follow.

SME of the Year


Diametric Technical



  • Berry Telecom Group
  • MindWorks
  • Ridon Joinery
  • TJ Waste & Recycling
  • TouchNetix

SME of the Year – sponsored by James Cowper Kreston

As a firm of accountants and business advisers dedicated to helping owner-managed/privately-owned businesses achieve their ambitions, James Cowper Kreston is delighted to be once again sponsoring the SME of the Year award at this year’s Solent Business Awards. The SME sector is widely acknowledged as a key driver of the UK economy and we encourage the Solent business community to get involved with this award so we can acknowledge their contribution and recognise their success.

Our sponsored award recognises the significant impact that SME businesses have across the region and welcome entries from businesses that have a base in the Solent, are at least two years old and have an annual turnover up to £10 million.

CEO of the Year


Mark Hepburn, 23.5 Degrees



  • Tony Lockwood, BOFA International
  • Andrew Powell, The Training Room

CEO of the Year – sponsored by Pitmans Law

The Solent is one of the most buoyant regions, boasting some of the most dynamic and successful companies and company leaders in the UK.

The CEO of the Year award is open to every company in the area and recognises the outstanding leadership and achievements of the CEO/managing director and their board in growing the business, driving innovation, establishing the culture of the company, and developing the brand. The winner will be able to demonstrate proven excellence in management.

Best Company to Work For


Marwell Wildlife



  • Berry Telecom Group
  • Blue Badge Mobility Insurance
  • Churchill Retirement Living
  • MindWorks
  • Shorefield Holidays

Best Company to Work For – sponsored by Vail Williams


The Best Company to Work For Award is open to all businesses across the region. We are seeking entries from both employees and employers – from any size of company, and from any business sector.

If your employer has new and innovative working practices that make your company the best place to work, let us know.

Here are some of the ways your company could be considered a potential winner in the Best Company to Work For award.

  • Creative working styles.
  • Innovative working environment.
  • Wide-ranging staff facilities.
  • An open, inclusive work culture.
  • Strong environmental policies.

There are many more ways in which your company might be considered worthy of the title Best Company to Work For award.

Management Team of the Year


The Training Room



  • Bargate Homes
  • BOFA International
  • Colten Care
  • Hartford Care
  • Marwell Wildlife
  • The Natural Travel Collection

Management Team of the Year – sponsored by NatWest 

We are looking for a management team that can demonstrate a clear and consistent track record of strong leadership, drive and adaptability together with the ability to think and plan ahead.

The judges will be looking for a team that has driven the business forward, implemented significant change or overcome material problems through strong leadership and teamwork.

The management team’s vision and its ability to guide the business through challenging economic conditions will also be a key criteria.

The judges will be looking for success in the following areas:

  • Change management; flexible and pro-active in facing/driving change within the business.
  • Problem solving; strong leadership is apparent at all levels within the business and that this has enabled difficult situations to be overcome.
  • Motivated workforce; effective leadership resulting in an inspired and loyal team or a step change in staff retention.
  • Teambuilding; management have concentrated on building a winning team to implement policy and achieve business objectives.
  • Strategic planning and thinking; clear and focused business planning and strategy has aided trading performance.

Quality, driven and inspiring management are critical to the success of any business – particularly within the competitive environment of the Solent region.  This award seeks to recognise the importance of strong leadership and teamwork in achieving business success.

As a local corporate banking team, we work closely with customers and businesses, helping them to achieve their long-term strategic plans. We feel the awards are an excellent opportunity to celebrate the high calibre of management teams found within the Solent area.

Company of the Year


Colten Care



  • BOFA International
  • Churchill Retirement Living
  • Hoburne
  • Naturetrek
  • Shorefield Holidays
  • Workdry International (Selwood and Siltbuster)

Company of the Year – sponsored by KPMG

To be in the running to be named the Solent region’s premier company, businesses need to demonstrate an outstanding financial track record, with strong sales growth and a commitment to increasing profitability. The winning company is likely to be a leader in its own market with dedication to excellence in products and services and a dynamic approach to quality and innovation.

This year’s KPMG Company of the Year must display the ability to think strategically, keep abreast of new developments both in its own industry and the wider economy and illustrate plans for future growth.

This award recognises the most successful Solent companies with a turnover above £10 million.

Last but not least, it will exhibit a strong commitment to its employees’ needs and aspirations as well as contribution to the county’s environment through sustainable business practices.

The judges will be looking at the following criteria:

  • Excellence in both products and services to customers.
  • Past achievements and future plans.
  • Financial performance.
  • The identification and drive in to new markets.
  • Commitment to the training and development needs of employees.
  • Contribution to enhancing the region’s business reputation and protecting the county’s environment.

This award recognises the companies that have truly achieved all-round business excellence in terms of financial performance, strategic direction, people, products and services against the continuing backdrop of uncertain economic times. Every year the sheer quality and range of entries we receive makes it more and more difficult for the judges to choose a winner, underlining the wealth of business talent in the region.