Queen's Awards for Enterprise
Cheeky Chompers among 10 Scots honoured
Julie Wilson and Amy Livingstone: ‘great recognition (photo by Terry Murden)
Two women running a global business five years after being told on BBC’s Dragons’ Den they had “delusional expectations” are among this year’s recipients of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
Amy Livingstone and Julie Wilson launched Cheeky Chompers in 2013 after identifying a gap in the market for an attachable teething solution.
They developed the Neckerchew, a chewable and absorbent dribble bib which is made in the UK.
They left the infamous Den empty-handed, but soon afterwards the phones didn’t stop ringing as willing investors offered to help.
Today the firm is one of 10 Scotland-headquartered companies and 230 across UK to receive this year’s top business prize.
With more than one million products sold to date, the full range of nine products is now available in 36 markets with exports accounting for 70% of turnover. The US, China and Taiwan are their biggest markets.
The couple, who became friends at an ante-natal clinic on Edinburgh’s southside, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded a Queen’s Award for International trade just five years into business.
“It is a great recognition of our success in overseas markets and a true credit to the effort from our small, dedicated team in Scotland and also our relationships with overseas partners, which drives our significant year on year growth.
“We remain true to our original values – to create innovative baby essentials designed by mums to make parents’ lives easier.”
Of the winners in Scotland, five are for international trade, four for innovation and one for sustainable development.
Bridge of Weir Leather (Bridge of Weir), Cheeky Chompers (Roslin), Forsyths (Moray), HotDocs (Edinburgh), Hydro Group (Aberdeen)
Ace Aquatic (Dingwall), Firemac (North Berwick), GDR Food Technology (Motherwell), KP Technology (Wick)
City Building (Glasgow)
The winners are able to use the Queen’s Awards emblem for five years as recognition for their contribution to international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity.
A record 152 businesses won an award for International Trade.
According to research by the University of Strathclyde, 73% of International Trade award winners between 2012 and 2015 directly attributed increased international sales to winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
The winners will attend a royal reception in the summer to celebrate the Awards.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK has some of the most entrepreneurial and innovative minds in the world delivering jobs, growth and greater choice for consumers and I am proud to see a wealth of these businesses being recognised today.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, supporting nearly 900,000 jobs and revenues of £68 billion in Scotland. Through our Industrial Strategy we are building a Britain in which they will continue to thrive.”
BGF, the most active investor for growing companies and entrepreneurs in the UK & Ireland, is the first investment company to have received the honour.
The judges highlighted BGF’s achievements in delivering an effective and scalable solution for growth capital investing in the UK through a unique combination of regional infrastructure, technology, investment structure and processes.
Stephen Welton, founding CEO of BGF said: “Receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is a tremendous honour and a powerful reflection of the hard work, commitment and culture which pervades BGF and our supporters. This accolade demonstrates that that innovation, particularly in relation to how growing businesses are supported, really can make a significant difference.”
Entry to the 2019 Awards opens on 8 May and closes on 12 September. To apply and for more information, go to: www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise