Give As You Live – the business that helps shoppers donate to charity every time they purchase – has been crowned Britain’s brightest, most innovative and disruptive small business in the Smarta 100 together with O2.
As the 2013 Smarta 100 together with O2 Business of the Year, Give As You Live was awarded the overall cash prize of £10,000 courtesy of O2. The winner fought off stiff competition with over 55,000 individuals voting for their favourite small business.
Give As You Live was founded in 2005 by Polly Gowers OBE in her garden shed. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength and has so far raised over £4,000,000 for over 200,000 charities. Over 2,500 retailers have signed up to donate a percentage of any purchase to charity, including huge companies such as Amazon, Tesco and Selfridges. These stats also saw Give As You Live voted winner of the Biggest Social Impact Award by the public and win a further £1,000.
Founder of Give As You Live, Polly Gowers said: “I’m thrilled to say that we’ve just won the Smarta 100 awards togaterh with O2. IT’s been such n easy and great way to engage our customer base. Our customers have voted in their thousands and I’ll be saying thank you. We raise money for charity, but we need to make sure people know about us and winning awards like this are a massive help. We will spend our £11,000 on making sure we’re don’t remain the best-kept secret in England. This business started in my garden shed we’ve now got a great team and we work with some of the biggest brands in the world, so now it’ all about spreading our message.”
The Smarta 100 together with O2 is the ultimate list of Britain’s best small businesses, chosen by an all-star panel of judges including Ben Dowd, Business Director of O2, Piers Linney, star of Dragons’ Den and founder of Outsourcery; Smarta founder Shaa Wasmund and Holly Tucker MBE, founder of Notonthehighstreet.com.
Shaa Wasmund, founder of Smarta added: “Polly is one of the most wonderful women you could meet. An absolute force of nature. I couldn’t have wished for a more deserving winner than her business Give As You Live. Innovative, disruptive and making a difference.”
Ben Dowd, business director at O2, said: “It’s a real achievement for businesses to be recognised in the Smarta 100. We believe small businesses are the engine room of the economy, and those demonstrating innovation need to be given credit for disrupting the norm and contributing to the health of British business.
“At O2, we’re passionate about equipping the UK’s small businesses with the tools they need to thrive and grow in digital Britain, and by partnering with brilliant organisations like Smarta we can help ensure they have a great network of other businesses to support them on this journey.”
The awards ceremony, which took place at London’s Café de Paris Tuesday 12 November, also saw 10 special awards being presented with each of the winning companies taking home a £1,000 cheque. The winners were:
ByPost, Mobile Business of the Year
EyeTease, Best use of Technology
SalesGossip, Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Mi-Soul, Start Up of the Year
The Underfloor Heating Store, Made in Britain Award
Uni Baggage, Micro Business of the Year
PrezzyBox, Best People Business
Mr Cake, Best Use of Marketing
Eat Ento, Most Innovative Business
Give As You Live, Biggest Social Impact Award