Small awards

Wiltshire non-profit Wiltshire Digital Drive has been chosen as a finalist in the Mission Possible category for best social enterprise at this year’s Small Awards.

In its fifth year, The Small Awards is a nationwide search for the smallest and greatest firms in the UK, across all sectors. It is organised annually by Small Business Britain, which champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK.

The initial ‘Laptops for Home Schoolers’ campaign, launched in May 2020 by Westbury-based Priority IT, was such a success that Naturally Social, a communications agency in Corsham, and Bath based accountants Turner and Partners, joined forces with the IT company to ensure the project was sustainable. In October of the same year, Wiltshire Digital Drive was created and it has now been chosen as one of five finalists for the award that recognises a small business that is driven by its mission over and above financial performance, that benefits a group, a community or society more widely.

With eleven unique categories, the Small Awards celebrate the dynamism of the UK’s small business sector, across everything from longstanding family businesses and innovation-led start-ups, to social enterprise champions.

“After what has been a difficult year for the whole small business community, it has been inspirational to hear about phenomenal small businesses across the UK, and the determination and resilience they have shown throughout the pandemic,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain.

“The Small Awards exist to celebrate and champion the amazing contribution of fantastic small firms like Wiltshire Digital Drive. We received a record number of applications this year, with an incredibly high standard of entry, so all of the small businesses shortlisted should be rightly proud of this achievement.”

Natalie Sherman, co-director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, said: “The past year has been difficult for everyone, so to be recognised nationally for the work we’ve all been doing is incredible. Setting up and running this Community Interest Company, while still running our own businesses, has been tough – but completely worth it. To see how many children, families and organisations have been helped due to our persistence, commitment and dedication to the cause makes it all worthwhile. To now see other businesses taking inspiration from us, and even altering their own business models to help local communities is amazing. Everyone who has been involved, in any way, with Wiltshire Digital Drive should be proud of what we have achieved so far.”

Judged by a panel of leading enterprise experts, the winners of all categories, along with the overall winner of Small Business of the Year, will be announced on 13 May 2021.

This year, in light of current restrictions, Small Business Britain will again be hosting its award ceremony as a lively virtual event, instead of the traditional glittering gala dinner. Small businesses across the country will zoom in together for an evening of fun celebrations, featuring entertainment, special guests, speeches, networking and more!

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