James Curnock, apprentice of St Albans business, Lanwarne Landscapes, has fought off stiff competition to be shortlisted in the eighth national Nectar Business Small Business Awards. James is just five weeks away from finding out if he will win the Apprentice of the Year category, which is judged by a panel of business experts and led by one of the UK’s leading business women, consumer champion and BBC ‘Dragon’, Sarah Willingham.
The Awards celebrate the achievements of hard working small businesses and business people across the UK. For the first time, the awards have added an Apprentice of the Year category and, if successful, James stands to win £1,000 cash and the prestigious title for himself, as well as £1,000 cash and 50,000 Nectar points for Lanwarne Landscapes. James and his employer will be invited to the Nectar Business Round Table and awards ceremony, taking place in November, where they will meet and receive tailored expert advice from Sarah Willingham and other business professionals who also judged the awards.
Lanwarne Landscapes is an award winning company, with owner James Lanwarne having won the Nectar Business Small Business Awards, Tradesperson of the Year category himself in 2013.
Lanwarne Landscapes offers four main services: landscape and garden design, construction, horticulture and consultancy. With an experienced, reliable and friendly team, Lanwarne Landscapes operates across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North London, delivering creative, practical garden solutions. The company is committed to exceeding clients’ expectations and as a result over 80% of business comes from recommendations and repeat custom.
James’ employer James Lanwarne commented: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for Nectar Business Small Business Awards, Apprentice of the Year category. As a company we invest a significant amount of time and money in training and developing our employees and being shortlisted is recognition of our efforts and James’ hard work over the past two and half years.
“Receiving an invite to the Nectar Business round table event and the opportunity to get first hand advice from the likes of Sarah Willingham for my business would be really valuable in taking us to the next level. The £1,000 prize money that James will receive will be a great reward for the hard work he puts in and the remainder of the prize money and 50,000 Nectar points will be invested in further staff training and development.”
James will go head to head with other star apprentices in the competition and will be judged by a panel of business experts, including Sarah Willingham; Adam Collett, Marketing Director, Independent, at Brakes; Melissa Snover Burton, previous Nectar Business Small Business Awards winner and Managing Director of Katjes Fassin; Richard Carvell, Director Digital & Direct Marketing at Viking; Shannon Diett and VP Marketing at DHL and Awards host.
Sarah Willingham, entrepreneur and lead judge of the awards comments: “When I joined the Nectar Business Small Business Awards last year I was blown away; not just by the number of entries, but by the sheer quality of the businesses that entered.
“This year has not disappointed; we received even more entrants than last year and the standard of entrants has once again been exceptional. It’s really inspiring reading all of the entries, I really am blown away!
“We have selected James as one of the stand out entries that deserves to be shortlisted in the Apprentice of the Year category. James has a bright future and the potential to go on to win this award, but having seen the other entries I know the competition will be fierce!”
The other categories include Small Business of the Year, Home Grown Business of the Year, Innovation of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Tradesperson of the Year, Contribution to Community Award and new category; Best Use of Technology.
For further details on the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2016 and a full list of shortlisted companies, please visit www.nectar.com/smallbusiness