The 2018 British Small Business Awards (BSBAs), held in Central London on October 31st, will bring together the brightest stars of the small business economy with the vendors, advisers and financiers that help them start, run, grow and succeed.

You could still find yourself on one of our shortlists for this prestigious event. To be in with a chance, nominate your company free of charge here before the deadline of June 25 2018.

Here, we catch up with last year’s winner of the Young Business of the Year Award, Pip Murray, founder of nuritious peanut butter brand Pip & Nut.

What’s your background, why did you start it and what is its USP?

I actually didn’t have any prior experience in food and drink or even business before starting Pip & Nut. In my spare time I had the running bug (still do!) and loved running marathons and peanut butter was my fuel of choice for my training. As a keen consumer myself, I noticed the products on offer at that time were packed full of refined sugar as well as palm oil. Those that didn’t weren’t exciting or flavourful. I spotted a gap in the market for a natural nut butter, which had more innovative flavours and a brand that was emotive and engaging that appealed to a younger generation.

Ultimately as a challenger brand I saw an opportunity for me to create a product which would really shake up a stale category and people excited about choosing a healthier option. When testing the products at Maltby street market I found my instincts were right – there was a genuine demand for Pip &Nut. Pip & Nut’s USP is that we are a natural nut butter brand, free from refined sugars and palm oil. We use the best quality ingredients lie our Hi oleic peanuts from Argentina which are higher in cholesterol-reducing monounsaturated fats and have a natural sweetness which means there is no need for sugar

Pip Murray, founder of Pip & Nut

How has it grown since it began?

Pip & Nut has undergone rapid growth in the past three and a half years. I started the brand with £120,000 which I crowdfunded in just nine days. Pip & Nut launched into Selfridges in January 2015 and since then has experienced rapid growth; this year we’re looking to grow year on year by over 75 per cent and the team has grown from a one-man band to 12 full-time employees in the office and 20 part-time brand ambassadors.

How did you find out about the BSBAs last year? How did you find the nomination process? 

We heard about the BSBAs through word of mouth when researching opportunities for start-ups. The process was really straightforward and the team were really helpful with any queries.

What was the event like and how important is to recognise the small business community and its significant contribution to the economy? 

The event was an awesome opportunity to celebrate our own achievements.

Being at the event was hugely inspiring to speak to some of the other amazing start-ups and SMEs that we have in the UK.

It always amazes what an amazing community the small business world is and how important it is to speak to other businesses, both in and out of your sector, and learn from each other.

The below video shows Nancy Lewis, marketing manager from Pip & Nut accepting Young Business of the Year award at the British Small Business Awards.

How has the business performed since the win?

Pip & Nut has had an incredibly exciting year. In May 2018 we launched nationwide into Tesco with our jars as well as extending our distribution and the range available in Sainsbury’s. We secured a round of investment in excess of £1 million to support our ambitious innovation plans for 2019 and beyond. We love being able to share achievements such as winning Young Business of the Year with our investors and stockists.

A selection of Pip & Nut’s peanut butter jars

Overall, what kind of impact can winning a British Small Business Award have on a small business?

Entering the British Small Business Awards is a fantastic way to raise the profile of a small business and gain recognition within the industry. We loved participating and would encourage other small brands to go for it!

Source link