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Winners of the Niche Business Awards went back to the future to celebrate at last night's ceremony

There were 16 award winners.

Winners of the Niche Business Awards 2022 gather on stage at Athena Leicester
The winners

City goers spotted an unusual vehicle outside Athena on Friday night. Movie fans would have recognised it as the DeLorean from that famous time-travelling movie franchise.

The famous car fit perfectly with our past and future theme for this year's Niche Business Awards.

On the night, Jenny Cross, CEO of Cross Productions, said: We have the absolute honour of hosting an evening where the whole place is filled with the most driven and ambitious of our community. I cannot begin to tell you how proud that makes me. A room full of genuine winners."

This year's theme symbolises the look back to the past that small businesses have taken to the confusing challenges and hardships they've faced to get to where they are today.

Guests ventured back to the 80s, with hints of the 50s throughout, and into an iconic 'Enchantment Under the Sea' prom, the ultimate nostalgia of being back in college celebrating with peers.

They also took part in the classic 'heads or tails' game. It was renamed 'past or future' for the purpose of the theme, for which everyone put on 3D glasses to view some cinema style 3D animated visuals.

The annual event recognises Leicestershire businesses with its prestigious awards each year, but the event is also well known for its uniquely themed ceremonies that inject fun and light-heartedness into the local corporate network, giving business owners a night to truly relax and celebrate their success.

Headline sponsor Leicester Castle Business School teamed up with the event organisers Cross Productions this year. The partnership has strengthened the education provider's bond with local businesses and helped to grow its Help to Grow: Management programme that educates business people to lead their teams well into the future.

Dyneshia Johnson, Programme Director of Help to Grow Management at Leicester Castle Business School said in her speech: "Business owners… to say you have had it rough is an understatement. But the resilience and talent we have observed in the region has really brought into focus De Montfort University and Leicester Castle Business School’s purpose and role as an anchor institution in nurturing the local enterprise ecosystem and supporting growth."

Sixteen businesses and individuals were awarded on the night. The Community Champion award, which is the only award not open for public nomination, was given to the compere of the evening Ian Stringer.

Dyneshia Johnson and Jenny Cross at the Niche Business Awards 2022
Dyneshia Johnson and Jenny Cross

As part of her opening speech, Jenny said: "The past year has thrown us some curveballs. Just as we found our feet and began moving again something else hits us.

"The rug is pulled out from underneath us. It’s not about what happened to you in business. No one escapes adversity. No one lives free of discomfort or misfortune, or struggle. No, it will always be about what you do with what happens to you in business. In other words, it’s not the event… it’s the response.

"It’s not the obstacle, but the ability to navigate around it. It’s not the waves, but the ability to ride its momentum to something greater. It’s not what happens to you it is what you do about what happens to you."

The full list of winners

Best New Business

Sponsored by Hollingsworths

The Gresham Aparthotel

Best Family Business

Sponsored by Kazzoo IT

Three Point Design

Business Growth

Sponsored by Torr Waterfield

Food Attraction

Best Small Business

Sponsored by Ninja HR

Clarke and Roskrow Styling Opticians

Digital Business of the Year

Sponsored by Take Me


Community Impact

Sponsored by Leicester Children’s Holidays

Leicester Drama Society

Rising Star

Sponsored by PPL PRS

Pete Talbot – Next Level Rugby

Employer of the Year

Sponsored by Growth Partners

The Superbia Group

Leicestershire Charity of the Year

Sponsored by Mr H IT

The Zinthiya Trust

Best Customer Service

Sponsored by Fraser Stretton Property Group

Clarke and Roskrow Styling Opticians

Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Breedon Consulting

Narinder Nijjar - Fraser Stretton Property Group

Eco Excellence

Sponsored by Beau Aesthetica

Michael Smith Switchgear

Professional Services

Sponsored by Jerroms Miller


Businessman of the Year

Sponsored by BP Legal

Gurdev Mattu – Fashion UK

Businesswoman of the Year

Sponsored by Tilton Conway

Emily Smith – Michael Smith Switchgear

Community Champion

Specially selected by Cross Productions

Ian Stringer


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