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Nosy Crow wins Young Company of the Year award at the Growing Business Awards

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Last night, Nosy Crow was awarded the Young Company of the Year Award at the Growing Business Awards last night.


The gold envelope and the card inside it that I nicked from the podium

The Growing Business Awards are managed by Real Business and the CBI in association with Lloyds Bank, and, as they say, they celebrate the very best of British business and the entrepreneurs that power some of the fastest-growing UK companies. The awards are in their 16th year. 63 companies were shortlisted by 25 business leader judges for 12 awards.

In the Young Company of the Year Award category, sponsored by Citroen, Nosy Crow won against Lovespace, the self-storage business; Anesco, a provider of energy efficiency services; Captify, an advertising tech firm; cement manufacturers Hope Construction Materials; and ProperCorn, the upmarket popcorn brand.

The judges praised Nosy Crow’s creativity and innovation, but I wasn’t, of course, able to jot down what they said about us as I went up to the award (I went on my own: the tickets were spenny), so, rather embarrassingly, I will have to quote what they said in the printed guide to the awards about me, rather than the company: “Kate Wilson is an exceptional entrepreneur. Her extreme focus and maximum personal effort is evident in everything she does.” I came back from the Frankfurt Book Fair for 12 hours for the shortlist interviews, which took place on 9 October 2014.

This is Nosy Crow’s third business award in as many months: on 3 September, Nosy Crow was named Nectar Business Small Business of the Year; and on October 6 Nosy Crow was named one of the Smarta100 companies – the 100 most resourceful, inspiring and disruptive small businesses in the UK.

I know that I’ve said this about our other business awards over the last few months, but at a time when press coverage of the publishing business is full of gloom and doom, it’s a great triumph not just for Nosy Crow, but I sort of feel for the industry, to win against such a strong and varied shortlist. Winning industry-specific awards is GREAT, but there’s something special about being recognised in a wider arena.

And winning is, of course, a great tribute to Nosy Crow’s staff and to our authors and illustrators, and makes us all the more grateful for the support of our many customers in the UK and elsewhere.


The Award on the messy, post-dinner table

When I accepted the award, I talked about my sense, as a corporate refugee, of privilege about being welcomed into the world of small, entrepreneurial business. I am endlessly impressed and intrigued by the ways that people find to make money for themselves and for others; to employ other people; and to delight their customers. I sat next to a lovely man whose company lays temporary aluminium roads for festivals and film sets among other things. He talked about his motivation – “loving my customers” – just as we talk about our motivations: to make and market great books and apps that children will want to return to and that parents will trust.

Comedian Ed Byrne did something for Nosy Crow that he didn’t do for any of the other winners: he said to the audience that, when he’d met me earlier (I’d gone in error to the VIP drinks reception instead of the normal one – don’t ask…) he hadn’t known what company I came from but that he and his kids knew and loved Nosy Crow books, so it was great that we’d got the prize.


All of the Real Business Awards winners

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