Solent 250 awards highlight region’s exceptional businesses
The Business Magazine’s annual awards dinner for Solent 250 companies demonstrated the breadth of entrepreneurial businesses in the south, and provided guests with an evening of entertaining speakers.
Over 80 guests attended the dinner and networking event at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, on 2 April, to celebrate top businesses in the Solent and South Coast region. The listing is compiled by The Business Magazine.
Sponsors HSBC UK, accountants RSM, law firm Irwin Mitchell and CMA Recruitment Group, judged 30 finalists across six categories.
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Richard Dibden, commercial director, CMA Recruitment Group, said: “What is very apparent about the Solent 250 is there are some exceptional businesses in our region, from the widest possible variety of sectors. We are truly blessed by the businesses, entrepreneurship and talent we have within our region.”
Guest speaker Ben Dowd, who was appointed CEO of Onecom last November, talked about the Fareham-based business telecoms provider’s ambitious expansion plans. Onecom is number 45 in the Solent 250, with sales up from £68.9m to £82.8m.
After 22 years at O2, Dowd chose Onecom partly because he wanted a new job that “offered fun”. Onecom also has the added advantage of no external shareholders, and a ‘can do’ culture that enables quicker decision making.
He said one of his first tasks was to distil Onecom’s business vision down to four key words: independence, partners, customers and people.
“It’s always about our people first,” he emphasised. “That will filter through to how we work with our customers and partners.”
The other guest speakers were RSM’s Simon Hart, the firm’s lead Brexit partner, and its chief economist Joe Brusuelas.
The duo provided a highly entertaining and thought-provoking snapshot of the possible implications of the UK leaving the EU. Earlier on the day of the awards dinner the UK government had added to the ongoing uncertainty by asking the EU for a further extension to the Brexit deadline,
Hart and Brusuelas suggested possible scenarios for how trade deals might be structured and what the UK’s future relationship with the US might look like. The audience shared their views on key Brexit questions via an interactive online Q&A.
The Solent 250 award winners are…
Ones to Watch