The winners at last year’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards have revealed that their company turnover is set to more than double this year since being crowned Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.
Cheeky Chompers, set up by two mothers Julie Wilson and Amy Livingstone after they met at an antenatal class, has credited the awards for significantly increasing the company’s presence in, and access to, an experienced entrepreneurial business market.
The company, which is best known for its chewable baby teething bib, ‘The Neckerchew’, has also revealed that since winning the award, other successes have included the launch of two new products, significant growth in the US market and expansion into the Chinese market.
This comes after Entrepreneurial Scotland, in association with business advisory firm Deloitte and media partner The Herald, recently announced that the search is on to find this year’s budding entrepreneurs.
Julie Wilson, one of the founders of Cheeky Chompers, said: “Winning Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year came at a crucial time in our company’s development. It was a real recognition of all the hard work and effort we put in and gave us a confidence boost early on in our company’s growth.
“A lot has happened as a result. Even on the night of the award ceremony we met people who expressed a keen interest in getting to know more about our business and offering their services to help us.”
Not only has winning the awards opened doors for Cheeky Chompers to meet and gain advice from experienced businesspeople, it has also allowed the company to share their story in front of vital audiences.
Julie said: “We have been invited to speak at a number of significant industry events. An invitation from Prime Minister David Cameron resulted in us speaking at Entrepreneurs Exchange, a series of seminars across the UK, in which we spoke alongside some of the most recognised and influential business figures in Britain. It was exciting for us.
“We also spoke at the Entrepreneurial Scotland Annual Conference at Gleneagles, receiving a positive response from the business community. We made contacts there that will help our business progress to the next stage.
“Winning Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year has allowed us to speak to, and learn lessons from, others who have experience in growing successful businesses. It has been invaluable in helping us find a structure and company model that works for us and we now feel part of the business entrepreneur community, in which we have been welcomed with open arms.”
Richard Slater, Partner and Head of Entrepreneurial Business for Deloitte in Scotland, said: “We recognise how vital entrepreneurial businesses are for the Scottish economy and saw real potential in Cheeky Chompers. At the initial judging and evaluation stages last year, the company displayed huge drive and determination, which was inspiring.
“They took a common problem faced by parents and solved it with their product – a perfect starting point for success in enterprise. Since then, the company has grown at a rapid pace, which has been satisfying to watch.
“We are proud to support Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards each year as we search to find Scotland’s next success stories. I am confident we will find more dynamic companies and businesspeople to add to the mix this year. Good luck to all nominees.”