INSPIRE-ing success!

At a glittering awards celebration attended by over 500 business people from across the region, the INSPIRE17 winners were announced, honouring the very best of north Hampshire’s business success in 2017.

With a record-breaking number of award entries and INSPIRE17 winners from right across the north Hampshire region – from Andover to Aldershot and everywhere in between – the INSPIRE business awards programme culminated in a spectacular evening held in the Hampshire Arena at Hampshire Court Hotel. It was organised by Destination Basingstoke on behalf of sponsoring partners.

Winners and finalists came from all parts of north Hampshire with the coveted ‘Business of the Year’ Award going to S B Joinery from Stockbridge.

The evening was compered by Felicity Edwards, Managing Director of Destination Basingstoke with Ex England Rugby player and TV pundit David ‘Flats’ Flatman, who is a supporter of Heartburn Cancer UK, the charity partner for the evening.

“It has been a fantastic celebration of our business community, the judges really enjoyed learning about the journey that some of our most successful businesses have taken to become award winners. It demonstrates very clearly that North Hampshire is a great place for business to thrive. Congratulations to all our winners and finalists.

Felicity Edwards

Destination Basingstoke

And the INSPIRE awards 2017 winners are……


INSPIRE Business Awards 2017 Winners

New Business of the Year Award

Winner:  Connective Chiropractic

Sponsored by: The Typeface Group

“INSPIRE is now a favourite in The Typeface Group office diary, and this year has been no exception. From shortlisting to judge’s visits it has been an inspiring journey that has really highlighted the strength and ambition of new businesses in the region. This year our winner literally could not have done more both in terms of their initial application and preparation for their judges visit. This is a true reflection of the dedication that has gone into the business to date. Sound and detailed business planning, market research and digital strategies all suggest that the future is incredibly bright for Connective Chiropractic”

Polly Buckland, Director of Typeface  – Sponsor of the New Business of the Year Award

Runners Up:

Sixth Sense Marketing

UCPS Learning

Business and the Community Award
Winner:  Basingstoke Sports Trust

Sponsored by: Gazette Newspapers

Basingstoke Sports Trust not only operate an impressive sports facilities but drive an equally impressive programme of community projects to promote healthy lifestyle, working with health professionals on rehabilitation and illness and injury prevention. Their innovative services are making sport and healthy living regimes accessible to all.

Runners Up:

Champion Group

Accelerate Driver Training Solutions

Family Business of the Year
Winner:  L. Hunt and Sons

Sponsored by: Brackenwood Windows

‘Brackenwood are delighted to sponsor the family business of the year award, as a family run business ourselves; we understand the complexity of managing family relations and building a successful business. L Hunt & Sons is a truly inspiring business, the family values and ethos were very apparent in all rounds of the judging process. To be able to succeed through 5 generations is a credit to their family name and it is an honour for Brackenwood to present them the award.’

Sponsor: Amy Medcraft, Brackenwood Windows

Runners Up:

Ripton Windows

Cool Projects

Fresh and Clean Services

 Apprentice of the Year
Winner: Ashley Mutumbarade – Be Wiser

Sponsored by: The University of Winchester

 “The University is delighted to have the opportunity to recognise and reward outstanding young talent in this area by sponsoring the Apprentice of the Year award. The 3 finalists were all outstanding young people and any of them would have been a worthy winner. Ashley’s positive attitude, commitment and enthusiasm shone through. Ashley is an outstanding ambassador for what can be achieved through a degree apprenticeship.”

Tony Curtis, Professor, University of Winchester –  Sponsor of Apprentice of the Year Award

Runners Up:

Louis Pennington – VIVID

Edwards Bartlett – Grainger

Young Business Person of the Year
Winner: Tommy Gentleman

Sponsored by: Minuteman Press

“Minuteman Press are delighted to be sponsors of the Inspire17 Young Business Person of the Year award, recognising the immense talent of the future North Hampshire business generation. We congratulate Tommy Gentleman, this year’s worthy winner – who has seized opportunities and shown strong business acumen and determination, to build his business up to where it is today.”

Susan Paterson – Minuteman Press  – Sponsor of the Young Business Person of the Year Award

Runners Up:

Farah Fonseca – Fonseca Fitness

Curtis Meek – Shenton Group

Service Excellence Award
Winner: Petra Jewellery

Sponsored by: Vitacress

 “Petra Jewellery Limited is a small family run business that has sustained 38 years of good service and has a real personal touch and is in tune with all their customers’ needs.  Often, if an engagement ring is brought, the couple will return for their wedding rings.

We felt Petra just had the edge, with the personal touches; the way the company deals with feedback both good and bad is exceptional. When you go into the shop you can see how well the customers are treated by the staff and all the extras that go with encouraging customers not only to come back but also share the sparkle!”

Chris Hall, Managing Director, Vitacress

Runners Up:

Harmony Made to Measure

The Hair & Beauty Studio

Small Business of the Year
Winner: IWaste

Sponsored by: Breeze FM

Judges believed that iWaste was making very good business out of a load of rubbish! Their waste management businesses has comprehensive growth plans and investment in a young staff that includes apprentices, they are very deserving winners.

Runners Up:


The Packaging Experts

 Entrepreneur of the Year
Winner:  Steve Whatley

Sponsored by: Haines Watts Chartered Accountants

Steve started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of just 13 and was soon bringing in the biggest wage in the household, he now operates 5 successful financial software businesses as part of the Inchora Group, helping people make informed decisions about their finances.

Runners Up:

Nicola Hartland of Xcel Sales

Robert Collard of R. Collard Ltd.

Joseph Munns of BakedIn

Innovation of the Year Award
Winner: Vuepoint Solutions

Sponsored by: Babyliss

“BaByliss, innovators in hair technology, is pleased to announce VuePoint as winner of the 2017 Inspire Business Awards for Innovation.  VuePoint, experts in energy procurement, have developed a scalable product to revolutionise the market making wholesale energy more accessible by breaking down historical barriers such as customer size and geography.  VuePoint are genuinely leading from the front and bringing the marketplace along with them. Many Congratulations!”

Chris Chessel, Babyliss –  Sponsor of the Innovation of the Year Award

Runners Up:


Loma Systems

International Business of the Year
Winner: Driven International

Sponsored by Fluor

Driven International is a small and relatively new business but which is focussed on international consultancy specialising in designing motorsport events all over the world. The clue is in their name , they are driven to success and international work represents over 505 of their business.

Runners Up:


The Packaging Experts

Employer of the Year
Winner: SB Joinery

Sponsored by HR Depart.

SB Joinery have achieved Platinum Investors in People status, an accolade that only 0.5% of organisations achieve, this clearly evidences their ability to engage with and develop staff as a valuable resource. Judges were especially pleased to see this investment in staff in a traditional manufacturing business.

Runners Up:



Business of the Year
Winner : SB Joinery Ltd.

Sponsored by Herrington Carmichael

“Herrington Carmichael is very proud to have sponsored the Inspire Business Award for the Business of the Year 2017. Our own successful business continues to grow by learning from others and Inspire has given us opportunities to develop further with like-minded people.

In a closely-fought category, SB Joinery (UK) Ltd epitomised all that is good about a dynamic, successful, local business and, having made impressive progress during 2017, it has fully deserved the accolade of Business of the Year.

Well done to SB Joinery and congratulations to all the finalists at the 2017 Inspire Business Awards.”
Sponsor: Jim Eatwell, Partner, Herrington Carmichael

Runners Up:

Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt


The Inspire Business Award is managed and organised by Destination Basingstoke on behalf partners across north Hampshire, more details are available at or follow @InspireAwards.