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Finalists announced for 2012 National Business Awards

Today, the National Business Awards, in partnership with Orange, has revealed over 150 of Britain’s leading businesses and business leaders as finalists in the prestigious awards programme. Ten companies have been named as finalists for the 3i International Growth Business of the Year award.

This award celebrates the achievements of UK businesses that have achieved significant growth from international sales or operations, across a range of sectors.

Finalists for the 3i International Growth Business of the Year are:

  • ATPI – the travel management company
  • Ella''s Kitchen – the producers of natural, 100% organic food for babies and kids
  • Worldmark International – manufacturer of labels specialising in electronics
  • Sauflon - a global supplier of contact lenses and aftercare products
  • Farrow & Ball - manufacturers of eco-friendly paint and wallpaper
  • Vitabiotics – creators of a unique range of products at the forefront of nutrition
  • Harvard Engineering - a world leader in the design, development and manufacturing of electronics
  • Sun Mark – distributors of supermarket products all over the world
  • Joseph Joseph – sellers of homeware, the design duo are successfully exporting their British brand all over the world
  • Malvern Instruments - manufacturer and supplier of laboratory analytical instruments

Announcing the finalists shortlisted for this nomination only category David Whileman, 3i Head of UK Private Equity said: “Our finalists have displayed solid international growth over the past year. This is an outstanding achievement in light of the tough UK economic climate and is a testament to the great work and determination of the management teams. It is encouraging to see such a mix of businesses in this category, showing that the very best of mid market UK can compete across disciplines in the highly competitive, but clearly exciting, international export market.

In September, finalists will participate in filmed interviews at London’s iconic Gherkin and will be judged by independent expert juries, to determine the winner – which will be announced at the awards ceremony on 13th November.

Alex Evans, Programme Director, the National Business Awards said: “Proving that British companies are is still world-class, finalists for the 3i International Growth Business of the Year have managed to successfully grow their export sales and international presence.”
The 150 National Business Awards finalists represent a total annual turnover in excess of £135 billion and collectively employ over 700,000 people. They cover industries as diverse as digital marketing, international road haulage and logistics, water engineering and life sciences: sectors that reflect key areas of UK capability with high potential for international expansion. The size of the companies entering is also varied – ranging from a business with an annual turnover of less than £50,000 to companies with multi-billion pound revenues.

Baroness Virginia Bottomley, Chair of Judges said: “This year has been a challenging environment for British businesses: these finalists demonstrate how companies are succeeding in the current climate through innovation, originality and tenacity. It’s good to see a broad range of companies both in sector and size – an impressive representation of the potential British businesses have. Congratulations to all our finalists.”

Visit for a full list of all finalists and to book a table at the event.

The National Business Awards supports Help for Heroes, a charity that offers support and advice for wounded soldiers.

Notes for editors:

Award categories  2012

Open to enter:

  • The Orange Innovation Award 
  • The BlackBerry Growth Strategy of the Year
  • The ICAEW Sustainability Award
  • The Santander Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year
  • The Huawei Customer Focus Award
  • The Croner Employer of the Year
  • Transformational Change of the Year
  • Start-up Business of the Year
  • Small Online Business of the Year
  • E-Commerce Strategy of the Year
  • Business Enabler of the Year
  • The Entrepreneur of the Year

Categories run by nomination only:

  • The Orange Leader of the Year
  • The Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business 
  • The 3i International Growth Business of the Year
  • The Leadership Diversity Award 
  • The Coutts FTSE 100 of the Year

The Grichan Partnership is the official executive search partner for the National Business Awards.

For further information or interview opportunities contact:

Rachel Branigan
PR Manager
UBM Awards and Partnerships
Tel:  0207 955 3843

Annelle Botha
Head of PR and Marketing
UBM Awards and Partnerships
Tel:  0207 234 8753

About the National Business Awards 
Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange is the UK’s most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on excellence, innovation and ethical business.  Now in its eleventh year, the National Business Awards connects the nations’ professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round thought leadership and round table events; and is UBM plc’s flagship awards programme. for further information or follow us on Twitter @businessawards.

About Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes (H4H) was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry after a profoundly moving visit to Selly Oak Hospital in the summer of 2007. Bryn and Emma met some extraordinarily brave young men who had been badly wounded and they just wanted to do something to help.  The charity was launched in October 2007 and provides direct, practical support for those wounded, injured or who have become sick in the line of duty and their families. 

About Orange UK 
Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the world''s leading telecommunications operators. With almost 131 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates. In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population, and 3G coverage to more than 93%. Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited. On July 1 2010, the company became part of Everything Everywhere, one company that runs two of Britain''s most famous brands - Orange UK and T-Mobile UK - with plans to transform the industry by giving customers instant access to everything, everywhere, offering them the best value, best choice and best network coverage in the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is the UK’s biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million people and more than 720 retail stores across the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is registered at Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9BW under the registered company number 02382161.     

For more information please call the Orange Press Office 0870 3731500, or visit

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