Small businesses – the heart of the region’s economy – are put firmly in the spotlight every year at the North East Business Awards.
It is these companies that form the life-blood of the North East business community, and only the best are celebrated with the coveted Small Business Award.
Last year’s winner was Bazaar Group – a soft furnishings manufacturer that began as a one-man hobby, and grew into a 30-strong business.
Founded by managing director Mark Dolder, the company based in Cramlington, Northumberland, is now the UK’s leading designer, manufacturer and online retailer of bean bags.
It launched its dedicated website in 2005 with 50 products; now it sells more than 700 units from multiple digital storefronts.
The Bazaar Group differentiates itself from high street competitors through online presentation and product quality and innovation.
Its customer base includes UK, German, French and Spanish consumers, UK education establishments and international educational catalogue companies.
Since day one, the company’s ambition was to grow from an eBay trader to a national leader in the bean bag market – and it has achieved its goal.
Last year the Small Business award was sponsored by the University of Sunderland.