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Finalists announced for Alternative Business Awards 2024

Run by Big Difference Company, the awards celebrate the sillier side of business.

Host Patrick Monahan with last year's New Kid on the Block winner, George Oliver
Host Patrick Monahan with last year's New Kid on the Block winner, George Oliver

Following more than 200 nominations, the finalists have been announced for this year’s Alternative Business Awards.

Standing out as something a little different in the business events’ calendar, the Alternative Business Awards celebrate the aspects of work life that are just a little sillier… All while raising money for Big Difference Company. 

With 18 awards up for grabs, popular demand has seen the ceremony moved to The Y, Leicester’s oldest theatre, and will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

The event provides an opportunity for the business community to come together, show their fun side and help to raise funds to support the work of Big Difference (the charity behind Leicester Comedy Festival). The awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Patrick Monahan, aims to recognise individuals and groups in a number of comical, warm-hearted, celebratory, and ‘alternative’ business award categories.

The event is co-headline sponsored by Eileen Perry of ER Recruitment and Simon Winfield of Red Monkey Play. Niche Magazine is the event’s media partner, with PPL PRS as its music sponsor.

All are welcome to attend the ceremony; you don’t have to be a finalist to join in the fun! Tickets are £35 each or 2 for £50 using this code: ABA2FOR50. Book online.


The categories, their sponsors, and their finalists are as follows:



The person with the quirkiest approach to business.

-          Charlotte “Bitsy” Lavender (Bitsy’s Emporium of Awesome)

-          Daniel Picave

-          Steven Mather (SM Solicitor)


CONTENT CATALYST (Sponsored by Niche Magazine)

A strategic storyteller who creates compelling content to connect and spark debate.

-          Danny Gohill (Pencil and Coffee)

-          Kwoklyn Wan

-          Matt Holt (MGL Media)



The team or individual who bring the biggest smiles to their community.

The winner will be announced on the evening of the event.



The person who’s always cutting the red tape.

-          Gabrielle Miller (Cool As Leicester)

-          Sanjib Sahota (Sanjib 8)

-          Trace Voss (East Midlands Chamber)


DOUBLE TROUBLE (Sponsored by Red Monkey Play)

The not-so-dynamic duo who get into the most mischief when working together.

-          Andrea Gray & Eileen Perry (PPL PRS & ER Recruitment)

-          Dan Flanders & Duncan MacLeod (Crosscut Media)

-          Liam Deacy & Pete Higgins (Lamp & Conkers3)


FUN WHERE YOU’D LEAST EXPECT IT (Sponsored by Torr Waterfield)

The business or person that’s unexpectedly fun.

-          Greg Hollingsworth (Hollingsworths Solicitors)

-          Phil Morton (Leonard Curtis)

-          Sasha and David Stewart (PropertyFace2Face)


GLASS HALF FULL (Sponsored by Sarah Higgins Corporate Coaching)

The most optimistic person in life and business.

-          Kevin Dunn (Furnley House)

-          Mark Torr (Torr Waterfield)

-          Minakshee Patel (Minakshee Patel Consultancy)


IN AT 9; GONE BY 5 (Sponsored by East Midlands Chamber)

The most productive person, who gets everything done during work hours.

-          Bhavin Gandhi (Paradigm Wills and Legal Services)

-          Harry Smith (ADS Laser Cutting)

-          Kelly McCormack (University of Leicester)



The new business or executive making a big impact.

-          Dan Poynton (On Poynt Creative)

-          Deyal Gill (Kings Estate Agents)

-          Jo Metcalf (Jo and Jo Events)


RYDER CUP (Sponsored by Paragon Sales Solutions)

The person who can always be found on the golf course.

-          Dharmist Bathia (Fortis Private Wealth)

-          Matthew Williams (Meesh Consulting)

-          Steve Boorman (Anthony James Insurance Brokers)


SARTORIAL ELOQUENCE (Sponsored by Jerroms Miller Specialist Tax)

The snappiest dresser on the business scene.

-          Darren Willoughby (2XL Commercial Finance)

-          Sallyanne Kirk (HQ Recording Studio)

-          Sean Jarvis (Leicestershire County Cricket Club)



The business that’s the happiest place to work.

-          Lizzie Griffin (Griffin Fit)

-          Marc Rowley (HIT Leadership)

-          Shabana Abdulla (Smith Partnership Solicitors)


SOCIAL MEDIA STAR (Sponsored by Furnley House)

The person who’s created the greatest online business content.

-          Alex Daly (Daly Systems Limited)

-          Rob Spence (Paragon Sales Solutions)

-          Sharon Clement


SWITCHED ON (Sponsored by Michael Smith Switchgear)

The person who is well informed, and always has their finger on the pulse.

-          Rob Paternostro (Leicester Riders Basketball Club)

-          Trace Voss (East Midlands Chamber)

-          Tracey Hallam (Mattioli Arena)



The team that’s worked together to achieve something really special.

-          Falcon Support Services

-          Michael Smith Switchgear

-          Sanjay Foods



The person who can calm down any situation.

-          Dr Yasin El Ashrafi BEM (HQ Recording Studio)

-          Linda Neville (SanaMente Services)

-          Sushma Kotecha (Holistic Family Mediation)


TOO HOT TO HANDLE (Sponsored by Chutney Ivy Restaurant)

The person who likes it spicy or is most often found networking at a curry house.

-          Caroline Hood (The Naughty Author)

-          Craig Brothers (Six Degrees Associates)

-          Kerry Smith (Cross Productions)


TOP TABLE FAVOURITE (Sponsored by Mark J Rees)

The person who’s always at every event.

-          Byron Dixon (Micro Fresh)

-          Harinder Sahota (TML Solicitors)

-          Ursula Routledge (Leicester Riders)


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