Smarta.com and O2 have named Pink Ribbon Lingerie as a winner of the 2011 Smarta 100 awards, which recognise the UK’s savviest, enterprising and most disruptive small businesses.
Pink Ribbon Lingerie specialises in mastectomy lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear with the aim to ‘help women feel beautiful’. They also donate 10 percent of sales to breast cancer related charities.
Commenting on its inclusion in the Smarta 100, Pink Ribbon lingerie director Camille Johnson said: “I am delighted to have been recognised as a smarta 100 winner, which makes all the hard work and effort worth it. I am focused on developing the business to continue to help more women who have had breast cancer and glad that I have been able to turn a bad experience into a positive light.”
The business, set up by Camille Johnson after perceiving her mother’s struggle to find attractive mastectomy lingerie, is one of a number of inspiration stories in the list.
Another such example is toy retailer Toy Barnhaus, which was set up by Mark Buschhaus and Stephen Barnes using their £20,000 redundancy pay-off from Woolworths, and is now turning over £1.4million from three stores.
Other winners include companies innovative offering products such as non-spill potties, pillows for long-distance lovers and non-tooth pulling toffee. Also recognised were the likes of crowd-powered wine dealer Naked Wines, parcel innovator MyParcelDelivery.com and fast-growing retailer WedgeWelly.
Smarta 100 revenues total over £65,000,000 with an average turnover of £692,000. They’re also contributing more to the nation’s coffers than they’re borrowing, with over half (51 percent) entirely self-funded.
On average, the businesses are three years and two months old. They employ a total of 740 people, with 9 percent employing a staff of more than 20. Smarta 100 businesses tend to be running lean operations, however, with a growing shift to virtual teams and networks of freelancers – 79 percent employ fewer than 10 people and 68 percent fewer than five.
This year’s winners are 55 percent male, 45 percent female, aged between 18 and 52, with an average of 33.
Commenting on this year’s Smarta 100 winners, Dragons’ Den star and Smarta board member Deborah Meaden said: “This year’s Smarta 100 has uncovered some superb small businesses, many of which I’ll admit I’d never heard of but have enjoyed discovering and am very much looking forward to meeting.
“What pleases me is that these awards are championing passionate and ambitious people with brilliant ideas who’ve acted on those ideas and turned them into flourishing businesses. These small businesses and individuals are hugely important and deserve our recognition and support.”
Voting for the overall O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year is now live. The winner will be presented with their £10,000 prize – courtesy of O2 – at The Smarta 100 Awards final on Wednesday 21st September at London’s IndigO2.
The evening will also see six special awards presented for the Smarta 100 companies deemed the best in the categories of Innovation; Technology; Social Impact; Use of Resources and Marketing. The shortlisted companies are now available to view online.
Pink Ribbon Lingerie has also been nominated for an award for Social Impact for its work in helping women follow breast cancer surgery.
These awards will be decided by the Smarta 100 judging panel consisting of King of Shaves founder Will King, Bebo founder Michael Birch, PR guru Lynne Franks, TV’s Sarah Beeny, creator of MySingleFriend.com and Tepilo.com, Smarta’s Shaa Wasmund and O2’s Simon Devonshire.
The special awards winners will receive prizes, including mentoring sessions with former Dragon Doug Richard, MOBOs founder Kanya King, an iPad2 provided by Viking and a £1,000 worth of consultancy and training courtesy of RBS Mentor.