This time last year I drove to Leeds Castle. The castle moat was frozen, and around a hundred business people braved the icy conditions to join Geraldine Allinson, Chairman of the Kent Messenger Group, haircare entrepreneur Graham Webb and myself to launch the very first Kent Excellence in Business Awards. We encouraged businesses to nominate themselves for the sixteen categories, to promote themselves and the Kent business community.
Last year’s awards ceremony was a priviledge to attend – over five hundred business people came to the black tie event on the hottest day of the year in a marquee in the grounds of Leeds Castle to see the winners announced.
On Thursday evening the weather was just as cold, but the atmosphere in the beautiful Bradbourne House in East Malling was warm and friendly, as once again Graham, Geraldine and myself took to the podium to promote this year’s KEIBAs. It was wonderful to see so many people in attendance from businesses across the county – and even more surprising to be told that a larger number still could not be with us as the event was oversubscribed.
Kate Austen, whose sports shop and injury clinic PodPlus Limited won her the coveted Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2009, gave a wonderful account (without a single note in sight!) of how winning her award had made a difference both to her business and her confidence. This year’s 2010 KEIBAs will take place, it was announced, take place at the Historic Dockyard Chatham this summer.
Tonight’s event signals the start of the “Call for Entry£ campaign which will continue until mid-March, with the deadline for entries being 5pm on 19th March 2010.
If you run a business – or know someone who runs a business – why not enter for this year’s KEIBA awards? It’s a great way to show your pride in your business and your staff. You can get full details and an application form online by visiting www.keiba.co.uk.