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Igniting Innovation and Celebrating Success at the Fastest 50 Awards

This year’s ceremony, an illustrious event held in central Leeds, shone a spotlight on the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative prowess of Yorkshire.

A key highlight in Yorkshire’s business calendar is the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 Awards. The awards take place in partnership with The Yorkshire Post each year to celebrate the region’s fastest growing businesses.

This year’s ceremony, an illustrious event held in central Leeds, shone a spotlight on the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative prowess of Yorkshire. The awards, once again, highlighted the region’s capabilities for sustained growth, investment and employment.

With a combined turnover of £2.5 billion, the room was buzzing with the sound of achievement and success from rapidly growing businesses who are relatively newer to the market such as Pivot Group and Jorvik Design Group to well-established companies who continue to impress like Uniexpress and Stage One Group.

Yorkshire businesses are accelerating at pace. The average turnover growth of last year’s 50th placed company was 30.47%. This year it is 47.4%, showcasing exactly what regional businesses, the backbone of the UK economy, are capable of.

Leading the pack was building services specialist Ivegate which clinched the overall award for Yorkshire’s fastest growing business of the year. The company also won the award for the fastest growing large business of the year – an incredible achievement that echoed its 2022 success when the business took home the overall winner and medium business awards. Independent contractor The HACS Group took home the award for fastest growing medium business of the year whilst the winner of the small business category was security services firm Active Security Solutions.

Zandra Moore, Co-founder and CEO of software company Panintelligence, and the event’s keynote speaker, said: “We have this incredible business ecosystem here in Yorkshire and some extremely important qualities that are the perfect ingredients for the talent and growth that’s in front of me today. At events like this, we showcase the dynamic progress in the region. With 40% of the UK’s high-growth companies based outside London, Yorkshire’s contribution is significant. Our region has a deep heritage of entrepreneurship and innovation and is now seeing a surge in technology and digital startups, particularly in sectors like fintech and digital health, which account for over 22% of jobs. This acceleration in digitalisation is not just strengthening our current industries but highlights Yorkshire’s pivotal role in driving the future economy.”

This year’s Fastest 50 demonstrated the rich diversity in Yorkshire’s business landscape, with companies in the list spanning sectors including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, recruitment, business services, technology and transport. With 14 small, 14 mid-sized and 22 large companies making the list, the awards not only celebrated the achievements of today’s winners but also set the stage for the next generation of businesses, inspiring entrepreneurism, excellence and endurance.

The Yorkshire Post’s Greg Wright and Ward Hadaway’s Emma Digby, executive partner of the firm’s Leeds office, also spoke at the event sharing their thoughts on 2024’s fastest growing Yorkshire businesses.

“The Fastest 50 class of 2024 – each and every one of you here today – should feel so proud,” said Emma. “You’ve shown that challenges, from managing operational costs to attracting top talent, are not obstacles but catalysts for expansion and innovation. As we’re all aware, technology is forever developing. You’ve utilised the benefits this has brought to innovate your offerings and expand your markets to drive growth. Your digital-first mindset has also pioneered healthier, more sustainable working environments.

“Your success stories serve as a testament to the power of strong leadership and a relentless pursuit of quality. By harnessing new technology and fostering a culture of innovation, you have not only achieved remarkable growth but also set new benchmarks for sustainability and social responsibility. You have clearly demonstrated that purpose, passion and perseverance are the cornerstones of success. Let your achievements inspire a new generation to dream big, embrace change and pursue growth. Huge congratulations to you all.”

2024’s Fastest 50 awards reflected a broader feeling of optimism and recognition of the potential within Yorkshire’s business community. It’s clear that the adaptability of Yorkshire’s fastest growing businesses, powered by a strong passion to succeed, is driving the regional economy forward.

In her closing comments, Zandra Moore said: “Today, we celebrate not just the achievements of our fastest-growing companies but the spirit of innovation, hard work and collaboration that fuels our collective success. Yorkshire’s business landscape is dynamic and diverse, and it is this unique combination of qualities that positions us for a future of continued growth and prosperity.”

The Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 growing businesses are determined by an analysis of Companies House data and relate to the previous three years of trading.

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