The Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards celebrates the expertise and achievements of Hertfordshire businesses, as well as the outstanding contribution they make towards the growth of the county. Hertfordshire LEP is proud to sponsor the Business of the Year (small to medium) category which puts high growth SMEs in the spotlight.

Judges have shortlisted six finalists based on their potential for growth, managerial and financial performance, product/service differentiation, and commitment to staff. Meet our finalists here:

Herts Executive

Herts Executive is the region's largest airport transfer specialists, providing affordable excellence to business and premium-leisure passengers across the Home Counties and London. The company began life in 1998 as a taxi firm and was bought by its current owner in 2013. Since then, it has grown organically and transformed into a respected executive private hire brand.

Our growth and recognition has been achieved principally through recommendations from satisfied passengers thanks to our dedication to continually improving service standards. The most challenging part of our growth journey has been to create a company culture dedicated to delivering outstanding service, which in many ways is the company’s ongoing mission. Dedication to this mission, however, continues to be a winning strategy.

Our aim was to secure a nomination in the Inspiring Herts Awards. And we’ve done it! We couldn’t be more delighted. There are all too few moments when a hard working team can pause and recognise their achievements. This, however, is one such moment and we intend to celebrate it to the fullest. As for winning, let’s just wait and see. We’ve been nominated and that already feels like a massive win to us. We feel hugely honoured.

Website: hertsexec.com

Osborne Appointments

Established in 1995, Osborne Appointments is an award winning, independently owned recruitment consultancy, specialising in the supply of temporary, contract and permanent placements across a diverse range of sectors. OA offers a complete portfolio of services providing for the occasional user of temporaries and permanent services right through to high volume, long-term agreements with multinational organisations.

At Osborne Appointments, we are committed to building mutually rewarding, long-term business relationships with the key people who contribute to our business success. These are our clients, temporary associates, applicants, colleagues, suppliers, partners and the communities in which we work. The business has seen huge growth in the last eight years with turnover increasing by 198%. During this period we have found employment for over 15,000 people. 2017 saw the business grow for the 8th consecutive year.

We feel extremely honoured and privileged to have won 11 business awards since 2015. This is testament to the way the business has evolved and demonstrates our commitment to our staff, our innovation and our core principles.

Website: osborneappointments.co.uk, Twitter: @OsborneAppts

1st Line Defense

1st Line Defence are a Hoddesdon-based company providing unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk mitigation services and solutions in support of the UK construction industry. Many areas of the UK have been left with a legacy of explosive ordnance contamination, either as a result of military activity or from bombing sustained during the two World Wars. This can pose a serious problem to construction and development projects, as the potential for encountering and subsequently detonating unexploded buried munitions can be significant.

It is not the policy of the UK military to undertake clearance operations of land prior to construction works being undertaken. 1st Line Defence was set up to fill this niche, safely recovering hundreds of items of UXO a year across the UK. The company was set up in 2011 and had a total of four employees by 2012. This has increased to 87 employees today making us the market leaders in UXO risk mitigation services for the UK. We are continuing to expand and invest in new equipment and technologies, with much emphasis on education and training.

We are very pleased to have been considered for the Business of the Year (Small to Medium) Award. We are proud of what we have achieved, which is in no small way due to our exceptional Hertfordshire-based staff and our location in Hoddesdon, and therefore the opportunity to be recognised by and to thank the local area is a great honour.

Website: 1stlinedefence.co.uk, Twitter: @1stLineDefence

Saunders Architects

Saunders has earned a reputation for excellent, award-winning architecture and urban design. Founded in 1988, our 80-strong national practice of architects and urban designers offers a full design service, from feasibility and planning submissions, through to the delivery of projects both large and small across a variety of sectors.

Our clients range from household names in retail, such as Tesco, Bunnings, well-known housebuilders such as Crest Nicolson and Taylor Wimpey, through to councils, universities and schools, developers and smaller retailers. The Saunders team will design for any site and purpose including residential schemes, retail, industrial, office, healthcare, education and heritage. Our expertise includes multi-use developments, town centre regeneration and developments in conservation areas. Our head office is in Welwyn Garden City and we have studios in London, Manchester and Bristol.

We are delighted that we have been nominated for this award, winning it would be the icing on the cake, and would be reward for all the hard work that everyone, staff and directors have put in over the years.

Website: saundersarchitects.com, Twitter: @SaundersArch

Alliance Intelligent Scaffolding

Alliance Intelligent Scaffolding is the creation of Justin Wall and Dan Yorke, who have combined 30 years of scaffolding experience to provide high quality scaffold access solutions for domestic and commercial clients across London and South East England. Launched in 2011, the business has grown at a phenomenal rate, almost doubling its turnover year on year whilst being entirely self funded. The business now serves an impressive portfolio of clients including some of the biggest names in the construction industry.

Alliance has firmly established itself as one of the most innovative and exciting scaffolding companies in the region, having won a clutch of both industry and non-industry awards, with clients knowing they will always receive an unparalleled service with quality, care and value at the heart of the company’s ethos.

We are delighted to be nominated for two Business of the Year categories at this year’s Inspiring Hertfordshire Business Awards. It's been a really fantastic 12 months for the whole team at Alliance and everyone has worked so hard to make this year our most successful ever so it feels great to be recognised for our efforts. Entering these awards gives us a fabulous opportunity to dissect, inspect and correct our business, to highlight areas in which we wish to grow and improve, and to set new goals for the coming months and years. We are very much looking forward to the awards dinner which promises to be an incredible celebration of business achievement in Hertfordshire for winners and finalists alike.

Website: alliancescaffolding.co.uk, Twitter: @AllianceScaffs 

The Skin to Love Clinic

Recently voted one of the Top 100 UK Businesses, The Skin to Love Clinic offers medical solutions to dermatological problems, as well as non-surgical aesthetic treatments for cosmetic concerns using market-leading and revolutionary technology. The business is owned by mother and daughter, Jane and Kerri Lewis, who are passionate about making people feel good about themselves.

Led by dermatologists and nurses, the team offer clinically-proven and pioneering treatments for concerns such as skin rejuvenation and laser hair removal to pigmentation and mole checks. We take a genuine interest in our patients and are proud to say that many of those who first came to us when we opened in 2014 are still with us today, becoming an extension of the Skin to Love family; no small feat considering we’ve seen over 4000 patients since opening our doors.

This is a big deal for us at The Skin to Love Clinic! We are thrilled to have our hard-work recognised by this award. It is a testament to our dedication to, and reputation for, honest advice, effective treatments and customer service, as well as our wonderful team who we consider part of our family. We are incredibly proud to help fly the flag for what small businesses in Hertfordshire can achieve.

Website: theskintoloveclinic.co.uk, Twitter: @SkinToLove