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East Midlands Chamber News

Derby businesswoman receives prestigious small business award

Derby business owner Yvonne Gorman has been awarded the ‘Francesca Kemp Award for Small Business’ at Small Business Saturday UK’s special online event celebrating small businesses across the UK.

‘The Blue Tie’ is an annual celebration of the campaign’s ‘SmallBiz100’, which spotlights 100 inspiring small businesses from across the UK each day in the run up to Small Business Saturday on 5 December.

Yvonne received the award in recognition of all that she has done for many years to help and support the small business community in Derby and across the UK. Each year, the ‘Francesca Kemp Award for Small Business’ is given to just one small business owner who demonstrates an outstanding contribution to their local area and the wider UK small business community. It is awarded in memory of former SmallBiz100 Francesca Kemp, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2015.

Small Business Saturday UK director Michelle Ovens MBE said: “Congratulations to Yvonne for her fantastic achievement in winning this award. 

"Yvonne is an absolute super star, who does so much to support small businesses, both in her local area of Derby and across the country. She is always generous with her time and goes above and beyond in supporting Small Business Saturday and getting others involved each year. She is a special person who really embraces the community spirit that we see running through small businesses across the UK.”

This year, in line with Government’s Covid-19 restrictions, Small Business Saturday’s annual ‘Blue Tie’ event took place online for the first time. Over 100 SmallBiz100 attendees, past and present, ‘zoomed in’ to the event wearing Blue Tie T-Shirts that were supplied by Yvonne’s business, Essential Print Services

During the event, unbeknownst to Yvonne, fellow Derby businessowner Owen Conti from Code56 was hiding outside her house throughout the ceremony, ready to surprise her with the award presentation – live streamed to the rest of the event attendees.

This award follows a string of accolades for Yvonne for her work with the Small Business Saturday campaign. In 2013 she was selected as part of the SmallBiz100, then nominated for Small Business Saturday UK Champion, which saw her visiting Downing Street on two occasions. Then, last year, she was named as one of just 12 Small Business Heroes, making her one of the public faces of the campaign.  It also follows Yvonne’s recent achievement as runner-up in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards last year, sponsored by Natwest. She is a key organiser in the Derby Small Business Saturday events and actively encourages others to participate, resulting in many other local business owners receiving recognition by the campaign too.