Let’s champion business innovation and hard work

The Work Avenue Business Awards are a brilliant way to take your company to the next level


David Nevies and Charlie Gothold, who won Business of the Year with School Hire, with Work Avenue's Maurice Golker (Photo: Leivi Saltman Photography)

Nominations are now open for the Work Avenue Business Awards, our opportunity to celebrate the incredible hard work, dedication and successes we see every day in our community.

This annual event highlights the innovation, ideas and impact of our businesses and entrepreneurs – and the positives they bring to our community and its members, as well as Britain’s society and economy.

For the winners themselves, the awards can be transformative. Last year, Gateshead-based Bernard Jacobson, who created Wasted after becoming frustrated with waste management services in the North East, won Micro Business of the Year.

He has since described how the win was “a significant milestone” for the company, saying: “It has inspired and enabled us to reach new heights, by boosting morale, enhancing our credibility and opening doors to new opportunities and partnerships.”

We also saw School Hire, a company which was started by two lifelong friends in our shared workspace in Finchley back in 2016, grow to win Business of the Year.

Charlie Gothold, the co-founder and director of what has been dubbed “Airbnb for schools”, described the victory as “both humbling and surreal”.

The major change for 2024 is the addition of a new category – Charity Employer of the Year. We feel that it is time to recognise and celebrate the impact that charities, both large and small, make on employment within our community.

Our charities are leading the way in providing great work environments, as well as opening up a world of job and career opportunities. This award specifically seeks to highlight those charities that have gone above and beyond for their employees, whether that be in providing professional development and/or seeking to provide them with a good work/life balance.

It sits alongside our long-running award, Employer of the Year, which seeks to celebrate the same practices in private sector firms.

Our awards are always evolving and another recent addition was Freelancer of the Year.

As a leading employment and business support organisation in the Jewish community, we get to see first-hand the changes in the way people work. The most pronounced in recent years, in our community and beyond, has been the shift from standard employment to freelancing, self-employment, side-hustles and portfolio careers.

The Freelancer of the Year award honours these professionals and the tenacity and drive it takes to go it alone. Judges are specifically looking for a freelancer/self-employed professional who has added value for a range of clients, no matter the sector.

Last year’s winner was Suzanne Benjamin, who set up The-Admin-Guru to provide a reliable service to help others with their business and home administration needs.

She said: “I know how hard all freelancers work, and it was wonderful to have my efforts and dedication to my clients recognised. The Award has been a great endorsement when marketing my services to potential clients.”

The fifth and final category is one of my personal favourites, as it shows the world the young business talent that we see every day.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year is open to all those under the age of 30, who are building and leading dynamic businesses.

I will leave the final word here to last year’s winner, Joe Woolf of gourmet sweet business Tasty Mates. “These awards are so special. It is amazing to be recognised by the very community that helped kickstart everything.”

Nominations close on June 17

Click here for more information and to enter the awards

​Debbie Lebrett is CEO of Work Avenue

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