Celebrating British entrepreneurship at the Fast Track 100 awards 2020
From producing reusable bottles to finding a new lease of life for unused London land, entrepreneurs are showing that there are still opportunities to be had even in a difficult business landscape. Fast Track 100 recognises Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over the past three years.
This year’s Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 awards looked a little different than usual. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was held online and the 325 guests attended virtually.
Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, opened the event with a speech focused on responding to the pandemic. “These awards are about celebrating the extraordinary contribution that entrepreneurs make to our economy,” he said. “Through sleepless nights and uncertain times you’ve built your businesses from the ground up.”
Richard Branson, who has supported Fast Track 100 since the beginning, praised entrepreneurs for their hard work and determination in the face of the COVID-19 crisis: “The pandemic may have thrown a wrench into your plans but try not let it crush your spirits – you are here today because you persevered.”
The prestigious award for the fastest-growing company was presented by title sponsors Virgin Atlantic to Chilly’s Bottles, which produces over 3.5 million reusable bottles and coffee cups a year and grew sales by 284% to £31.2m in 2019.
Virgin sponsored the Ones to Watch award, which was presented by Holly Branson, chair of Virgin Unite, to WhiteHat, which places apprentices with more than 300 employers across the UK, including Zoopla and Facebook, and has raised $20m from investors.
Other winners include:
The Disruptors to Watch award was won by Tokamak Energy, which is accelerating the development of low-carbon commercial fusion power
The Best Management Team award was won by Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, which sold a majority stake to Spanish group Puig in June in a £1.1bn deal
The Effective Use of Capital award was won by Boxpark, which has turned unused land at three London locations into retail, bar and street-food sites, making £3m profits last year
The Outstanding Achievement award was won by Tropic Skincare, which achieved sales of £35m last year and is forecasting £80m next year
The Excellence in International Ecommerce award was won by Cult Beauty, which grew exports 139% a year to £51m last year, driven by smart social media and demand for its exclusive brands
The SME Export award was won by Needle & Thread, which has tapped into the demand for special occasion clothes, attracting customers in 40 countries with exports reaching £10m last year
The Innovative Business award was won by VetCT, which has pioneered remote analysis of pet x-rays, helping animal hospitals and vets provide a better and faster diagnosis
The Emerging Brand award was won by Mowgli, which was founded by Nisha Katona who gave up a career as a barrister to open a healthy, home-style Indian restaurant in 2014 and now has 11 sites from Liverpool to Oxford
Visit Fast Track to find out more about the winners.