Busy Bees founder’s named EY Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year

15 June 2016

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  • Ten other Midlands businesses were honoured on the night, including Mark Jones & Jeremy Taylor of Green Frog Power, Rosie Ginday of Miss Macaroon and Alan Hardy of Paragon Interiors Group. 

Marg Randles and John Woodward, founders of Staffordshire-based Busy Bees, were named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Midlands overall winnerat an awards dinner in Birmingham last night.

Marg and John also took home the International award, and were described by the judges as having built a ‘well-established business that started 33 years ago’ which ‘continues to grow internationally having taken the emerging UK market by storm’.

Burntwood-based Busy Bees in Staffordshire is the UK’s leading childcare provider for children aged three months to five years. They have over 250 nurseries in the UK, but it is their international growth and future expansion plans that particularly impressed the judges. Busy Bees already has 60 nurseries operating in South East Asia, with ambitious plans for extensive growth both nationally and internationally, over the next three years.

Andrew Spence, Partner and Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader at EY, said: “Having grown the business from scratch to become the UK’s leading childcare provider, Marg and John’s entrepreneurial spirit is to be admired. They had a simple aspiration to create better outcomes for young children through exceptional care and education. Over 30 years later and following huge success in the UK, they’ve been able to grow their business internationally by making it relevant to other markets, particularly in Asia.”

Held at the Birmingham Council House and hosted by Breakfast Business presenter, Steph McGovern, the awards dinner honoured local business leaders across 10 categories, all of whom will represent the Midlands at the UK finals in October 2016: Marg Randles and John Woodward of Busy Bees; Professor Simon Fishel of Care Fertility Holdings; William Chase of Chase Distillery; Mark Jones and Jeremy Taylor of Green Frog Power; Sarah Gill of Gro-Organic C.I.C.; Rosie Ginday of Miss Macaroon; Alan Hardy of Paragon Interiors Group; Michael Bruce of Purplebricks; Ben Maughan of SHEco; Heather Penn and John Penn of SSE Audio Group.

A Chairman’s Special Award was also presented to Graham Wynn, OBE and Jennifer Wynn of TTC Group, the UK’s largest provider of National Offender Retraining schemes and Drink Drive Rehabilitation schemes. Chairman, Lord Digby Jones commented that TTC Group “truly encapsulated how business and social enterprise should operate hand in hand” and wanted to recognise their significant contribution to the Midlands through this special award.

Andrew Spence commented: “Entrepreneurs form the foundations of our economy, so it’s important that we continue to support their ambitions and celebrate their successes. Rebalancing the economy, beyond London and the South East, is critical to future growth and with entrepreneurs like our finalists creating jobs and wealth right across the Midlands, we can feel confident that this rebalancing will be achieved over the coming years.”