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Thames Gateway Business Awards returns with networking afternoon

PUBLISHED: 19:48 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 06 September 2017

The L to R: Tony Foster, Sarah Scott-Foster, Karen West-Whylie and Kathy Ennis at the Thames Gateway Business Awards networking evening

The L to R: Tony Foster, Sarah Scott-Foster, Karen West-Whylie and Kathy Ennis at the Thames Gateway Business Awards networking evening

Archant

This year’s Thames Gateway Business Awards kicked off with Shiraz and smoked salmon canapés.

Entrepreneurs shook hands and swapped stories at the launch and networking event, held this afternoon at Barking Enterprise Centre in Cambridge Road.

Speakers included small business mentor Kathy Ennis, of LittlePiggy, and Sarah Scott-Foster, events manager for newspaper and magazine publisher Archant, who own the Post.

“We are few in number, but great in stature,” said Barking Enterprise Centre CEO Karen West-Whylie as she opened the event.

She told the Post: “For me, what is really interesting to see is the breadth and range of businesses here.”

“There are lots of businesses that I don’t recognise from last year, which is great. It means that they [the awards] are growing in momentum.”

In her speech, Scott-Foster said the awards aimed “to celebrate all the fantastic work that goes on in the local business community.”

She said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for businesses to promote themselves to a captivated audience and also profile their business from the inside out.”

The free event was a chance for budding Bransons to meet the judges and sponsors ahead of the awards ceremony on October 27.

Attendees learnt how to put together an award-winning entry and networked with like-minded companies.

Function Business Services managing director Tony Factor, who took home Business Person and Medium Business of the Year in 2016, said the awards gave his team “validation” and “confidence” in their work.

“People liked what we doing but I don’t think the wider community knew,” he said, adding: “It’s about shouting, telling the world: ‘We’re here, we’re doing some good stuff. Do you want to hear about it?’”

With 10 categories open for entries, the awards will spotlight the best in business across east London and Essex.

A £12,000 advertising package in Archant’s London and Essex titles is up for grabs.

Judges will award a special prize chosen from all of the finalists, with Company of the Year going to the ‘Winner of winners’.

Entries close at 5pm on September 15. For information on the categories and how to enter, click here.

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