Over the past couple of years Excelerate Labs have been hard at work supporting business growth in Greater Manchester, so it was about time to take a step back and celebrate the diverse reach of businesses we have had the privilege of working with in the region by honoring them in our Excelerate Labs ‘Celebration of Success’ awards.

The Excelerate Labs ‘Celebration of Success’ awards gave us a chance to hear about some fantastic achievements but also hear about how each business has well and truly flourished in their industry. The event also identified some of the top businesses creating economic growth and job opportunities who have benefited from the programme. 
Helen Millne, Deputy CEO at The Women’s Organisation kicked off the dinner awards with a speech highlighting the importance of business growth and how all the businesses in the room were a huge inspiration to other smaller local businesses wanting to grow. Our hosts for the event Mike Marsden, Programme Manager and Ameena Ahmed, Business Growth Advisor from Excelerate Labs welcomed everyone into the fantastic space provided by The Albert Square Chop house before advising everyone a 3 course meal was about to be served (The most important part of the awards, of course) before we handed out our wonderfully locally sourced handcrafted awards made by Lost Heritage
The event celebrated the achievements of 11 businesses, all from various industries but all with one big thing in common, their drive and motivation to make a difference. Speaking to Sam Turner from Back on Track, a charity that enables disadvantaged adults to make lasting, positive changes in their lives, he said “It’s a lovely event, such a great atmosphere to watch everyone enjoy each others achievements. It’s also great to hear about the growth of other businesses.”
This year, Back on Track will be expanding their outside catering enterprise to take on more volunteers but also create new jobs. Speaking about Excelerate Labs, Siobhan Pollitt, Chief Executive of Back on Track said, “It’s always great to have that opportunity to take a well needed step away and have someone else help guide in the thinking process… something which can only produce positive things.”
Siobhan Pollitt from Back on Track
We caught up with Janine Waters from Edge Theatre, a thriving arts centre, a charity working with homeless people, vulnerable adults and young people to use high quality arts to transform lives, and a café which is also a training centre for adults with learning disabilities. Janine picked up the award for Social Impact using the Arts commenting “Lovely event, absolutely loved it!”
This year Edge Theatre will be collaborating with The Booth Centre Company, a day centre that offers advice, activities and support to the homeless in Manchester to celebrate the 70th Birthday of the NHS. Speaking about the support she’d received from Excelerate Labs, she spoke highly of how the advice had been helpful on many levels and how Mike Marsden’s work around helping her understand SEO had come at the perfect time to increase their ranking on search engines.
Janine Waters from Edge Theatre
Delicious mains gone and sweet treats from Hey Little Cupcake being passed around, we spoke to We Are Invite, a vibrant & creative video production company based in the heart of Manchester, who were awarded for Video Production Business of The Year. We are Invite have been working with new clients giving them a chance to access great opportunities and will be looking into taking on their first employee this year, a big step for the business after working alone for 5 years. When asked about the ‘Celebration of Success’ they commented “It’s been nice, it’s so great to see everyone’s success and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of”.
We Are Invite collecting their award for Video Production Business of the Year

Catching up with Jo from Bikeright ltd, she said “Today was a great event, it’s such a great community of achievement and it’s also great to see so many businesses we know and how everyone has been connected through The Women’s Organisation” Jo & Liz, who picked up the award for Most effective campaigning for Greener transport have most recently merged with a London based group that will allow nationwide coverage of their services, something which they have only offered locally up to now. Speaking about Excelerate Labs, Jo commented “I think any advice is helpful for a business in the first stages of growth, it’s really tough to make a go at it so we really appreciated the support”
Jo & Liz from Bikeright!
All awards presented, Mike and Ameena closed the event by thanking everyone who took time out of their hectic working days to attend and invited everyone to stay and mingle with all the great industries in the room, and of course we couldn’t let everyone get away without a group photo!
Excelerate Labs: ‘Celebration of Success’ Winners

Congratulations to all of the winners at the Excelerate Labs ‘Celebration of Success’ Awards!

Big thank you to The Albert Square Chop House for hosting this wonderful event and providing great food and service, Thank you to Lost Heritage for the beautiful awards and of course thank you to all the businesses for making the day pretty special!
Thank you to David Read from Ministry of Housing, Communitues and local Government for supporting the event, and ongoing support of our programme making the growth and celebration of these businesses possible. 
Check out this lovely read about the event from Hey Little Cupcake! here 
Thank you for the Sweet Mini Cupcakes!
Hey Little Cupcake!
The full list of winners at our event:

Social Impact Using the Arts
Most Effective Campaigning/Greener Transport
Video Production Business of the Year
Commitment to People Development
Digital Marketing Business of the Year
Excellence in Customer Service
Environmental Business of the Year
Creative Industries Business of the Year
Making A Difference
 Best uses of Social Media
 Woman in Construction Business  

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If you’d like to find out how we can support your Manchester based business – then get in touch with us today! For more information about the project please contact exceleratelabs@thewo.org.uk

The Women’s Organisation is proud to lead the way in innovative business growth support through our programme ‘Excelerate Labs’.  The programme open to men and women running a business in a B2B sector will enable businesses in Greater Manchester to innovate, diversify and grow creating new jobs.

More about the event can be found in this article from the Manchester Gazette.