Q2 2024

SME News- Q2 2024 Best Leadership & Executive Coaching Provider 2024 When asked what led her to work within the industry of leadership and executive coaching, Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée DBE simply replied, “to be a role model”. It was back in 1989 that she developed Beacon Organisational Development (Beacon) as a sole trader, shortly after her manager told her how she felt threatened by her because she is “black, a woman, and intelligent” and that she was going to “block” her. For Neslyn, this only fuelled her fire, and she went on to make her vision a reality to provide leadership development and coaching that transforms leaders – while also finding herself wondering if her former manager would have related to her differently had she received leadership training. Fast forward 35 years and Neslyn has been bestowed with more than 25 awards for her exceptional work, including being honoured three times by Queen Elizabeth II, and last year recognised with Damehood in His Majesty King Charles’ Birthday Honours.


Editors Letter Phone: +44 (0) 203 970 0010 Website: www.sme-news.co.uk Rebecca Scotland Editor No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Welcome to the Q2 2024 edition of SME News magazine, where we provide you with all the latest news, announcements, and features about some of the best up-and-coming enterprises around the United Kingdom. This quarter, we are delighted to be featuring Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée DBE on our front cover as she celebrates her business, Beacon Organisational Development (Beacon) being named Best Leadership & Executive Coaching Provider 2024. For more than three decades, Neslyn has been passionately and generously helping black adolescents, alongside providing brilliant leadership coaching that transforms entire organisations. As you read our feature on Neslyn and Beacon, you’ll quickly discover just how she has come to achieve such high acclaim, including more than 25 awards and multiple royal honours. This issue is jam-packed as we feature more excellent award-winning enterprises from across the United Kingdom, whether they operate in hempinfused beverage manufacture, beauty services, PR, marketing, real estate, law, virtual training design, and many more exciting sectors. I hope you find this issue to be informative and insightful, and that you have you a wonderful few months ahead. I look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our Q3 issue.

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Contents 6 News 8 Beacon Organisational Development Ltd: Best Leadership & Executive Coaching Provider 2024 12 Purity Hemp Company: Best Hemp- Infused Beverage Manufacturers 2023 13 Transformative Beauty Services Inside and Out 14 REDS Group: Environmental Services CEO of the Year - UK 16 Doing Good with North Product Design 17 Chennai Express: Best Local South Indian Dining Establishment 2024 - Hampshire 18 The Medical League: Medico-Legal & Digital Solutions CEO of the Year - UK 20 Friendly Accountancy Services From GW & Co 21 Truva Lounge Cocktail Bar: Best Turkish Bar & Restaurant 2024 – Northamptonshire 22 Award-winning PR With The PC Agency 23 Warehouse Consultancy Service Empowering Businesses Through Bespoke End-to-End Service 24 Daniel Matthew Estate Agents: Best Local Estate Agency 2024 – South Wales 25 Taking Your Marketing to the Moon and Beyond 26 Centelli: Bringing Your Business into the Future 28 Your Path to Insurance Recruitment 29 Remarkable Business and Development Coaching for Women 30 Easing the Stress of Data Protection 31 Cambridge’s Second-to-None Premium Estate Agency 32 Revere Developments Ltd: Best Independent Home Development Company 2023 - Buckinghamshire 34 Blackfriars Law Limited: Property Law Firm of the Year 2024 – West Midlands 35 Expert Electricians Awarding New Apprenticeship 36 Designing Your Own Personal Sanctury 37 I A MacKinnon Haulage Ltd: Best Family-Run Haulage & Transport Solutions Provider 2024 – Western Scotland 38 Making Marketing Magic 39 Digital Infrastructure Solutions 40 Money Claim Collections: Most Client-Focused Debt Collection Service 2024 42 Unlocking the potential of the client-agency npartnership win healthcare communications 43 Virtual Training Solutions that Change the Game 44 Revolutionising Access to ADHD and Autism Services 45 Kibosh Ltd: Most Visionary CEO 2023 – UK 46 Cutting-Edge Decision and Data Services 47 FR CHARTERED CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS: Best Contractor & Micro Business Tax & Accounting Firm – England 48 Be Broadcast: Pioneers of Strategic and Innovative Broadcast PR 50 Residential Property Management Services Done Right 51 LS Law Limited: Best Life Science Sector Legal Advisory Firm 2024 – Southern England 52 They Aren’t Just Travel Agents; They Are ‘Not Just Travel’ Agents 53 SKS Law Ltd: Most Comprehensive Immigration Services Firm 2024 - Leicestershire 54 Kurl Legal Service: UK Immigration Specialists of the Year 2024 - East Midlands & UK Legal Awards 2024 Commendation of Excellence: Visa Support Customer Services 55 Real Estate Agency with a Familial Touch 56 The Creation of the Contact Centre Community 57 Premier Diagnostics Ltd: Best Emissions Technology Company 2024 58 Capitol Industrial Batteries Systems Limited: Best Transportation Battery Manufacturer 2024 - North Lanarkshire 59 VAG Coding Leicester: Best German Vehicle Retrofitting Service Specialists 2024 60 The Southeast’s Trusted Property Experts 61 Manchester’s Ecommerce Marketing Experts 62 Citrefine International Limited: Best Natural Insect Repellent 2023

SME News Q2 2024/ News Canadian SMEs optimistic about growth despite technical skills challenges • PayPal's 2024 Business of Change Report uncovers the growth barriers Canadian small-medium enterprises are facing and the potential opportunities that exist with operating online. • 47% of Canadian online small business owners admit they have not expanded in the last three years – with a lack of technical expertise as a leading barrier to growth for more than half (59%) of respondents. • 70% of SMEs that sell online believe it is important to invest in technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) skills to adapt to a rapidly changing online environment While nearly half (47%) of all Canadian online small-medium enterprises (SMEs) report their business has not expanded in the last three years, this lack of growth hasn't dampened their optimism. Eighty-two per cent of SMEs believe that with the right strategies to overcome barriers, their business has the potential to experience decent growth. PayPal's 2024 Business of Change Report reveals more than half (63%) of online businesses plan to expand their business online in the next one to two years, but nearly six in ten (59%) feel the lack of technical expertise will limit their business' growth. Surveying 500 small business owners across Canada, this report uncovers that although the majority (88%) of online Canadian small business owners agree online sales are key to expanding their business, 66 per cent say that setting up a business has been harder than they thought. Barriers to growth The research delves into the primary barriers Canadian SMEs surveyed perceive as potential hindrances to their short-term growth plans. These include: • Challenging economic climate (42%) • Competition in the industry (36%) • Consumers purchasing less (32%) It isn't just external factors that business owners feel will limit their ability to expand – they feel a lack of business confidence and skills will hold them back. Almost half (48%) of respondents identify acquisition of new customers as a significant challenge in expanding their online presence, whereas more than a third (33%) face difficulties in boosting customer conversion rates, and a quarter (24%) grapple with cashflow management. What's more, one in five (19%) say they find it difficult to know which payment methods to offer, such as instalment payment options like buy now, pay later or offering a range of digital wallets that consumers prefer to pay with. "With over 80% of online sellers encountering growth hurdles, it's imperative that we help them overcome roadblocks," said Nitin Prabhu, Vice President, Small Business and Financial Services, PayPal. "With PayPal Complete Payments, our most advanced offering in the market, we're committed to simplifying the complexities faced by small business owners in Canada. Our comprehensive solution fosters growth, provides advanced fraud protection, and streamlines cross-border trade, empowering entrepreneurs to thrive." Recent research shows there were over 70,000[2] reported cybersecurity incidents in Canada in 2023, marking a 25 per cent increase from the previous year. In a world where cybersecurity risks continue to be a threat, tackling the day-to-day responsibilities of operating a business online isn't the only thing Canadian small businesses have to worry about. Nearly half (46%) report they do not feel prepared about their ability to protect their business and customers from fraudulent transactions. This is in addition to 43 per cent who are worried about their ability to manage and protect customer information online.

Newly formed AI Ethics Advisory Panel promoting Ethical AI Systems for Organizations and SMEs The Digital Governance Council has recently introduced a new advisory body focused on AI ethics, aiming to provide expert guidance to organizations in making responsible decisions regarding the design and use of AI technologies. This initiative is part of the Council's efforts to support organizations in creating, deploying, and governing AI systems in an ethical and accountable manner. Expert Advisory Panel on AI Ethics The newly formed AI Ethics Advisory Panel is comprised of seasoned thought leaders and experts in data, technology, AI policy, and governance. The panel members will provide invaluable insights and strategic advice to organizations on AI ethics and governance. Their areas of focus encompass ethical impact assessment reviews and strategic guidance on ethical risk mitigation for AI projects. Key Features of the Advisory Panel's Services • Ethical Impact Assessment Review: The advisory panel will conduct a thorough review of the ethical impact assessment prepared by organizations, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of the ethical implications associated with their AI projects. • Strategic Guidance on Ethical Risk Mitigation: Following the assessment, the panel will offer tailored advice on selecting strategies to mitigate identified ethical risks. This guidance is designed to safeguard organizations against potential ethical risks in the deployment of AI technologies. Members of the Advisory Panel The panel members bring a wealth of experience and expertise from various sectors, including data governance, technology, AI policy, and entrepreneurship. They are committed to leveraging their knowledge to promote the ethical and responsible use of AI technologies. For a more in-depth look at our advisory panel members, click here. Inviting SMEs to Participate The Digital Governance Council invites small and medium organizations to participate in the ethical impact assessment review process and benefit from the expertise of the AI Ethics Advisory Panel. This Panel will provide support and guidance to SMEs in identifying and addressing ethical risks associated with their AI projects. SMEs building or deploying AI can express their interest to access end-users, privacy, security, legal professionals, technical experts, demographic diversity, and more to review their ethical impact assessments and advise on the selection of treatment options to safeguard ethical risks. Express your interest here. The establishment of the AI Ethics Advisory Panel by the Digital Governance Council reflects a proactive approach to promoting ethical and responsible AI practices. By engaging with expert advisors and inviting SMEs to participate, the Council aims to foster trust and accountability in the design, deployment, and governance of AI systems across various sectors in Canada.

SME News Q2 2024/ 8 Best Leadership & Executive Coaching Provider 2024 When asked what led her to work within the industry of leadership and executive coaching, Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée DBE simply replied, “to be a role model”. It was back in 1989 that she developed Beacon Organisational Development (Beacon) as a sole trader, shortly after her manager told her how she felt threatened by her because she is “black, a woman, and intelligent” and that she was going to “block” her. For Neslyn, this only fuelled her fire, and she went on to make her vision a reality to provide leadership development and coaching that transforms leaders – while also finding herself wondering if her former manager would have related to her differently had she received leadership training. Fast forward 35 years and Neslyn has been bestowed with more than 25 awards for her exceptional work, including being honoured three times by Queen Elizabeth II, and last year recognised with Damehood in His Majesty King Charles’ Birthday Honours.

“I focused and leveraged my strengths, applied solutions to the gaps that I saw in leadership and service development. I thought about my former boss who told me she was going to block me. I wondered if she would have related to me differently had she had leadership training?”- Dame Neslyn WatsonDruée DBE Dame Neslyn’s life journey has been an extraordinary one, having come a long way since her arrival to the UK from Jamaica at the age of 19 with five O-Levels. Initially having trained as a nurse, Neslyn overcame prejudice and discrimination as a young black woman, and soon became the first Caribbean nurse appointed to the former United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing Midwifery and Health Visiting, now known as the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She has an extensive track record within the NHS as a former nurse, midwife, health visitor, health promotion officer, deputy director of nurse education, and non-executive director for 21 continuous years, including 10 years as chair of NHS Kingston. It was in 1993 that she began the evolution of leadership development within the NHS, laying the foundations by piloting her Leadership, Career and Personal Development Programme, which led to the NHS Breakthrough Programme and the current NHS Leadership Academy. And since founding Beacon Organisational Development in 1989, Neslyn has reached incredible heights as a leadership development coach and consultant. As of 2017, she is a Top 100 Global Coaching Leader by the World Human Resources Congress, with full accreditation from the Association of Coaching and certification in the approaches of HighPerformance Coaching, Thinking Environment Coaching, One Command Coaching, and Emotional Intelligence Coaching. She is widely acclaimed for her coaching services that she delivers to executive and senior leaders, helping them to become their best selves when it comes to the areas of leadership, achieving high performance, and transforming their work and personal life with integrity, passion, creativity, and emotional intelligence. With Beacon, Neslyn’s mission is to transform leaders and their organisations in order to unleash their creativity, vision, and intelligence. This is done through targeted leadership development, enhanced communication, coaching, and strategic thinking. Underscoring the company’s work are core values of developing outstanding leadership; committing to excellent personal development including emotional intelligence; building team members’

SME News Q2 2024/ 10 appreciation, trust, and value for each other; creating thinking environments; promoting equity, equality, inclusion, and diversity; and expanding everyone’s potential to be the best. Neslyn empowers leaders to leverage their strengths, skills, and leadership performance; identify the triggers that push them off track; consistently figure out ongoing top priorities; develop their ‘self-discipline muscle’; and more. This leads to increased self-esteem; increased capacity to lead and influence shared vision; maintained high performance; effective communication; improved conflict resolution; a move from transactional to transformational, authentic leadership; and the list goes on. “I have learnt that the important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is not to try. I launched the ripple of my passion for leadership development into the ocean, that ripple became a wave and that led to my work forming the foundations for the development of the present NHS Leadership Academy.”- Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée DBE By developing leaders, this, too, improves entire organisations, with Neslyn telling us, “We pride ourselves on organisational development. We believe that meaningful organisational development and success occurs when boards and executive teams give firm commitment to: facilitating people’s growth and development; empowering people to take responsibility for the success of the organisation including the quality of the organisation’s products and services; understanding the internal and external environments, including how organisations function as systems; and enabling leadership and management styles which are capable of withstanding the turbulence of change.” Within Neslyn’s vast experience is more than 25 years at board level as a non-executive director, inclusive of over 10 years as a chairman. Neslyn harnesses this experience to bring awareness, empathy, and an understanding of relationships at executive and corporate levels into the coaching she provides. This knowledge and experience enable her to not only coach existing leaders, but also aspiring directors in preparation for job interviews and to bring about stability early on in their careers. “Success is more than just a job for Neslyn. It is her everything. She’s completely reignited my ambition and I don’t know what I would do without her. Thank you, Neslyn. It is an honour to have you as my coach.”- Diane Caddle, Ministry of Justice UK Notably, Neslyn has seen outstanding success as coaching adviser to His Majesty’s Government Civil Servants through public sector resourcing, and she has developed training programmes that have been helping people for decades. Such programmes have leveraged the capabilities of black and ethnic minority communities and include the Black and Minority Ethnic Programme, which has been running for more than 20 years in NHS hospitals and Community Trusts; the Personal and Career Development programme for 22 multinationals in London (including the BBC, HSBC, Barclays Bank, The Post Office, British Rail, London Underground, and more) through The London Enterprise Agency; and a Mentoring Development programme for the BBC. As a visionary, empowering, and transformational leader, Neslyn’s work is celebrated far and wide, having received over 25 awards for her work, and most recently being bestowed with a DBE by King Charles III in his 75th birthday honours. Neslyn was “astonished and delighted” as His Majesty recognised her significant contributions particularly towards the development of women and minorities. Alongside this, her MBE from the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was for personal and career development of staff working across voluntary organisations, local government, banking, and commerce, and her CBE was for Health Service Innovation and Leadership, in addition to the Queen’s Medal for Windrush Nurses and Beyond. The honours highlight how Neslyn has “excelled as a mentor, coach, and role model for ethnic minority NHS staff”, praising her selflessness in supporting young people in the black community, guiding them away from the influence of gangs and crime, and personally funding employment opportunities for them. This is in addition to the launch of Colourful Radio, a community radio station which broadcasts to the Greater London area and aims to help young black people. “I highly recommend Neslyn to anyone seeking an insightful, challenging yet passionately supportive executive coach. Neslyn manages to combine critical appraisal and an enabling philosophy seamlessly. This has help me to reflect personally and professionally on my own aspirations and shape my own approach to my executive role.”- Professor Laura SerrantGreen Among Neslyn’s talents, too, is public speaking, where she articulates the behaviours and characteristics that allow leaders to flourish. Her ‘Unique Business System: The Leaders’ Code™’ is used with corporate organisations to change organisational culture, encouraging people to be courageous, committed, creative, challenge issues, and not to be afraid to show they care about each other. Within her public speaking, she has previously presented to the European Parliament, public and private sector organisations, and various charities. Neslyn has also shared an international stage with Bill Walsh, President and CEO of Powerteam International; Mark Victor Hansen, speaker and author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series; Sharon Lechter, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and advocate; Erik Swanson, The Habitudes Coach; Dave Dee, entrepreneur, magician, and GKIC leader; Itzik Amiel, Global Leading Authority on Networking; Fabrice Beillard, global business expert, author, and international speaker; Irina Alionte, global entrepreneur and speaker; James Dentley, author, speaker, entrepreneur, and business trainer; Alec Stern, Vice President of Strategic Innovation for Constant Contact; and Harvey Thorneycroft of Brilliant Mind Speakers. Further, Neslyn shared a platform with the Rt. Hon. Oliver Dowden CBE, Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office at the launch of the Centre for Public Appointments – Public Appointments Diversity Action Plan, where she spoke about diversity issues, ‘Stepping Stones to Achieving Diversity on Public Boards’. Also, within her portfolio, Neslyn has authored five books: ‘From Impossible to Possible’, ‘Joyful Living – The Guide to Your Purpose & Passion’, ‘Authentic Choice – Be You’, ‘Relationship Skills for Executives – 6 Conscious Blueprints for Executives to Experience Joy’, and ‘Fly High Land Safely – The Definitive Book on Career Transition for Executives’. Each book is available for purchase from her online store. This isn’t all, for she is an international journalist, having written columns on leadership for the Phoenix Newspaper, which has 8 million readers online, as well as written articles on leadership for Sovereign Magazine and the Voice Newspaper. She has been interviewed by BBC Radio, too. “I had the absolute pleasure to work with Neslyn in 2017. She is an exceptional executive coach, and our work together has been enlightening, inspirational, and has had a profoundly positive impact for me. Neslyn has many, many skills but her signature strength is to truly understand what makes people tick and to develop self-awareness to enable them to achieve their greatest ambitions.”- Jessica McDarren, Trade Finance Director, Consumer Products Division UK/Ireland, L’Oréal So, what tips does Neslyn have for businesses that are looking to be successful? Her advice is to: “build strong teams – create and sustain high performing teams who share the vision towards common goals and amplify the vision. Focus on being the best with the products and services provided. Focus on customer service and quality. Listen to customers and staff, and always demonstrate integrity. Develop your people to take pride in the business; praise people when they do a good job. Treat people fairly and let people know they matter. Address issues in leadership, communication, and performance management. Adapt, innovate, and use technology wisely, underpinned with sound financial management. Be respectful of the supply chain and the whole system.” She adds, “[And] don’t worry about the competition, focus on being your best. Cream will always rise to the top.” Now, in terms of the future of Beacon Organisational Development, Neslyn tells us that the plan over the next five years is to “support 50 SMEs to build their leadership cadre”. Within this, the organisation will be working with senior civil servant to focus on their mission, purpose, and outstanding service. Ultimately, Dame Neslyn has indeed come a long way since she was told all those years ago that she was going to be “blocked” by the person who was supposed to be supporting her to succeed professionally. And a brilliant role model she has become – for black people, for black women, for leaders who might need to have a more open mind. Neslyn didn’t listen to anybody who tried to put her

down and, as a result, she has transformed communities and organisations, and truly changed the face of leadership. Contact Details Company: Beacon Organisational Development Ltd Contact: Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée DBE Email: neslyn@ beaconorganisationaldevelopment.com Website: www. beaconorganisationaldevelopment.com www.beaconpotential.com www.neslyn-watson-druee.com

SME News Q2 2024/ 12 surrounding medical cannabis and natural hemp-based extracts. “We need to separate the self-serving political agendas and focus on the medical and health benefits that these plants can provide,” Michael explains. “Imagine where our industry would be if we were able to use the last 80 years to legally, without fear of prosecution, advance our knowledge and use technology and science to put the research data into product applications.” With governing bodies continuing to delay the establishment of a legal framework in the cannabis industry, it is difficult for Purity Hemp Company to not only forecast its future and gain investor confidence but also engage in innovation and market the benefits of its products. It is important for the company to be able to educate people, helping them to decide if the plant’s natural benefits could help them, without fear of legal repercussions. Michael comments, “If we regulated the industry, removed the companies and products that focus solely on profit and not people’s health, and made it a criminal offence to supply harmful or unregulated products into the market, we would eliminate those profiteering from unlicensed products, creating a safe and legal industry that can drive tax whilst improving wellbeing.” Despite the continued turbulence of the cannabis market, Purity Wellness Group is committed to remaining ethical and compliant, focusing on the creation of products that can significantly enhance the health and wellbeing of both people and pets. “We continue to evolve the range of products we have within the restricted UK market,” Michael adds. “However, we are ready to do more once the regulatory pathway to the UK and European market is made public and the transparency of guidelines is published.” In an industry rife with criminality and unscrupulous brands, Purity Hemp Company stands out as a beacon of unparalleled commitment to excellence for its exceptional range of products, particularly its effective CBD drinks. For this, the company was recently awarded the title of Best Hemp-Infused Beverage Manufacturers in the Southern Enterprise Awards 2023. Looking towards the future, Purity Hemp Company is determined not to stagnate, continuing to diversify and expand its network of partners to overcome the challenges caused by the FSA Novel Food’s delayed final approval announcement. For example, the brand has extended its long-standing partnership with Folium Biosciences Europe to create opportunities in line with its licenses. Furthermore, Purity Wellness Group will soon be announcing an exciting international collaboration with medical cannabis organisations, as part of which the company will represent their interests in Australia, Japan, Europe and the UK. Contact: Michael Walker Company: Purity Hemp Company Web Address: purityhempco.com Best HempInfused Beverage Manufacturers 2023 Based in Virginia Water, Surrey, UK, Purity Hemp Company, part of the Purity Wellness Group, is a market-leading brand working with tech-forward cannabis- and hemp-based plant extracts including CBD, CBG, CBN and several natural terpenes across the United Kingdom, Europe and the USA to provide its customers with a wide range of pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids created for their oils, capsules, gummies, teas, coffees and topicals. In particular, the company has become known for its innovative range of organic and sustainable CBD beverages, which are perfect for individuals looking to manage their overall health and wellbeing without compromising on taste and quality. Here, we speak to Founder and CEO Michael Walker, who tells us more about Purity Hemp Company and the broader cannabis industry. In 2016, Purity Hemp Company was established by Michael Walker, a renowned international marketing and sales director who has successfully led global brands within the leisure, luxury, retail and infrastructure industries. Unfortunate and avoidable tragedy led Michael to change focus and direction with the sudden loss of family and close friends due to the negative effects of synthetic medications and over prescribed opioids often used to treat medical conditions. Now, in contrast, he witnessed the life-changing results of natural plant-based extracts being used as an alternative treatment to help and heal various physical and mental health conditions and he was immediately inspired to educate and inform people to the potential of natural extracts found in both the cannabis and hemp plants that have been used for hundreds of years. Michael and his team of medical and scientific partners continue to channel their passion, energy and experience though the Purity Wellness Group, trading as Purity Hemp Company, Purity Coffee Company and Purity Pet Company. He wanted to create brands that were a true force of good, and to put people and pet health before profit. He truly believes in the power of plant-based cannabinoids and is committed to using the purest and safest extracts to ensure the best results across his entire product collection. His focus for the brands would be based on three key principals, Transparency, Traceability and Trust – unlike any other brands on the CBD market, Purity Hemp Company ensures complete transparency and challenges other brands to be honest with customers and tell them exactly what’s in the product, where it comes from, and how it is prepared to ensure the best quality, not just the best margin. Michael continues to amplify the company’s commitment to Traceability and show customers how the plants grow, the testing regime the plants undertake during the growing cycle, and how they are harvested and prepared using the most advanced tech and scientific applications, challenging other brands to do the same. Collectively, these core principles continue to build unwavering consumer trust in the company’s product collection. Grown on its own farms and derived from both hemp flowers and the valuable biproducts of hemp plants, Purity Hemp Company’s premium range of CBD products, including its revolutionary beverages, are all available to order online. By providing effective products and useful educational resources related to CBD, Purity Hemp Company is working to change the narrative

Based in Sandy, Bedfordshire, Azalea Beauty Salon has become the community’s go-to beauty salon for its outstanding beauty services. From the moment clients enter the door, they are greeted with welcoming staff in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Priding itself on the quality of its products and treatments, Azalea Beauty Salon fosters a genuine passion for beauty with its team dedicated to ensuring clients look and feel like their best self. Transformative Beauty Services Inside and Out At Azalea Beauty Salon, the team understands that beauty is not just skin deep and strives to deliver holistic experiences to its valued guests. The salon specialises in a wide variety of treatments including laser hair removal, facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, lashes, brow treatments, spray tans, and much more. With its state-of-the-art laser hair removal machine, clients are guaranteed to be up to 95% hair free after just six sessions. Each session is highly efficient and a less painful alternative to waxing. Clients are left with silky smooth skin for the summer months, wishing that they had discovered the practice much sooner. Most recently, Azalea has begun offering a limited-edition treatment tailored to the season, which has become a favourite within the community. The passionate team love to showcase their creativity, developing fresh ideas that leave clients raring to return. January’s treatment offered a winter warmer with a hot stone back massage and invigorating facial. In February, Azalea spotlighted its Radiant Rose facial which incorporated several rose scented products and saw the salon transformed into a romantic oasis of candles and rose petals. Throughout March, the business launched a detoxifying back treatment which included a back cleanse, exfoliation back massage, and detoxifying mask. The Azalea team is eager to share more exciting promotions with clients throughout the coming year. Sarah Priley, Founder and Owner of Azalea Beauty Salon, says, “I have always enjoyed doing my nails and decided that it was a career I wanted to pursue. Once I started working in the industry, I realised how nice it is to be able to make people feel better about themselves. The relationships you build with your clients over time means they can confide in you and knowing they feel safe to share in your environment is special. This motivation has also started a second business of mine, Renbe UK, where I am creating a skincare line to help more people with their confidence.” Alongside her hardworking team, Sarah has fostered a collaborative culture that prides itself on open communication and consistently supporting its staff. This emphasis on team collaboration ensures that staff work together cohesively, leveraging their individual skills to create a positive and productive workplace environment. Azalea has adopted a philosophy of continuous improvement with Sarah emboldening staff to seek ongoing education and professional development opportunities. To stay ahead in a competitive industry, Azalea remains abreast of the latest beauty trends and techniques to offer clients the most innovative beauty solutions available. Sarah Priley shares, “At Azalea Beauty Salon, we're on a continual journey of levelling up. We recognise the crucial significance of staying ahead in the dynamic beauty industry and are dedicated to always honing our skills. Our attention to detail extends to the minutiae as we constantly seek ways to enhance the customer experience within our salon. It's not just about staying current. It's about sweating the small stuff and ensuring every moment at Azalea is an opportunity for our customers to indulge in an unparalleled and constantly evolving beauty experience.” Moving forward, the salon’s main objective will be expanding its team and strengthening its foundation. As the business continues to evolve, Azalea will become a flagship salon for Sarah’s second business, Renbe UK. In the future, Sarah would like to relocate to a larger premises to offer more group treatment bookings and give back to its community. With the expansion of its premises, Azalea hopes to provide more non-surgical aesthetic treatments and holistic beauty experiences for its clients. At Azalea Beauty Salon, the team strives to consistently deliver exceptional service and exceed client expectations with its premium beauty services. With a suite of relaxing treatments available, the salon has adopted a client-centric approach to help clients achieve optimal wellbeing. As a company that emphasises continuous improvement, Azalea is dedicated to enhancing customer experiences to provide its community with unparalleled quality and value. For its unwavering commitment to client satisfaction, we have bestowed on Azalea Beauty Salon this year’s Business Elite Award for Best Beauty Services Salon – Bedfordshire. Contact: Sarah Priley Company: Azalea Beauty Salon Web Address: www.azaleabeautysalon.co.uk

SME News Q2 2024/ 14 Lloyd Burnard is REDS Group’s Founder and CEO, and since the business was founded back in 2017, it has served as one of the industry’s leading solutions providers in the areas of fuel maintenance, inspection, and environmental management, a service it provides to a wealth of fuel storage facilities up and down the UK. From its headquarters in Devon, the business has seen considerable growth over the past seven years, and today boasts a team of more than 60 individuals, with depots in England’s South East, South West, and Midlands, as well as North Wales. This journey all began when Lloyd was made redundant from a company in this sector, and we catch up with him to learn more about his journey and subsequent success. Since first getting his start in the industry back in 1996, Lloyd Burnard has been one to watch, having been heavily involved in a number of projects and in charge of many more over the past three decades or so. On the back of this vast knowledge and experience, clients very much see Lloyd as the go-to person for swift action on the back of incident responses and projects that are sensitive to the environment, with his unmatched project management skills, well-established track record in delivering results, and drive to exceed the expectations of both clients and third parties on display at every turn. It is this knowledge that stands as a cornerstone for the distinction that is today embodied across the REDS Group brand. Having had many roles over the years, including the likes of site operative, marketing manager, and project manager, Lloyd is well equipped to handle his CEO duties with excellence, varying the specifics of his role to best align with the current needs of the wider business, all while keeping an eye on both the present and future of the industry. As Lloyd explains, “I work closely with my senior team to ensure each department is hitting their targets and that company morale is good, which for me is extremely important.” Thus, wherever possible, Lloyd strives to deliver warm Cornish pasties to his on-site teams, but this is becoming increasingly difficult due to the business’ exponential growth. As one can see, the rapport that Lloyd has with his colleagues is excellent and he continues to their nurture growth and development, welcoming feedback from all colleagues so that the business can further streamline its services. For Lloyd, “I appreciate up-front honesty even if it is uncomfortable to hear, and I don’t mind at what level in the business this comes from. I want to hear it so I can deal with it.” Furthermore, since REDS operates in an industry that is incredibly high risk, health and safety is of paramount importance. The level of trust that Lloyd has in his teams to be honest and do the right thing is thus immense, with no room for error, and this is before one considers the pressures of maintaining the company’s reputation. In the endless pursuit of upholding this tremendous standing, Lloyd’s leadership style is of the uppermost importance. Much like his aforementioned CEO duties, this approach is also constantly changing, becoming increasingly refined as the years go by, with Lloyd leveraging all that he is regularly learning so as to be the sort of leader that employees want, and other business owners seek to follow. Expanding further on this, Lloyd tells us, “I feel I can step in anywhere and I like to think my teams know this and that I will if it is required.” He continues, “I always tell them my door is open and my phone is on, and I am reachable no matter what”, highlighting the culture of care that runs deep throughout the company. A great deal of this knowledge about what to do (and not to do) stems from previous leaders that Lloyd has had throughout his career. He reminisces, “I am fortunate that I have had inspirational leaders and amazing characters in my life that I have learnt from and strive to emulate.” Many of these now work with Lloyd at REDS and are some of his most trusted friends and confidants, underscoring the profound, prolonged impact that a good boss can have on an employee. Lloyd also credits his father for teaching him more than just a thing or two about leadership, stating, “I have also been lucky enough to work with my father for over 15 years, and the wealth of knowledge he has passed down is why I am who I am.” With all of this experience in tow, it is no surprise that REDS today works with a number of diverse clients from a host of sectors, inclusive of defence, governance, and logistics, to name just a few. The fact that the industry is somewhat of a niche also helps contribute towards the partnerships that are shaped with those in needs of its services in the space, with terms akin to ‘supplier’ and ‘contractor’ not doing justice to the nature of the subsequent relationship that is often nurtured. Regardless of the client or project, Lloyd explains, “I pride myself on having the best team and service delivery in our sector, and our USP is our leadership team and site team’s ability to deliver complex, high-risk tasks with ease.” It would be fair to say that a business is only as good as its staff, and with REDS having employees dotted in home-, office-, and site-based roles, this high level of trust that runs throughout the business is combined with praise whenever excellent work is done. On the odd occasion when things do not live up to expectation, it is important to mentor as opposed to blame, and it is this ethos that has proved instrumental in the business’ incredibly high staff retention rate and a team that appreciate their CEO. While companywide gatherings are difficult to orchestrate due to geographical restrictions, Lloyd and the senior management team endeavour to visit as many sites as possible and express their gratitude in person. In closing, gears shift slightly towards the broader industry, with Lloyd recognising the continuous importance of this team in navigating the future of the sector. He tells us, “our industry faces some serious challenges that it has never dealt with before, as revolutionary green energies are paving a way for a reduction in fuel and oil reliance in all sectors.” Undeterred, he continues, “I don’t see these as challenges that will negatively impact the company, they are opportunities for us to expand and diversify, and we have pivoted our Environmental Services CEO of the Year - UK

services and client base to ensure our growth and market share continue to increase.” Since day one, REDS Group has strived to exceed the forecasts and predictions that have been imposed upon it, and whether it be as a result of stellar recruitment, exemplary operational capability, or something else, Founder and CEO Lloyd Burnard has made it his personal mission to see that the company always delivers. Since it has, and continues to do so, it is our privilege to name Lloyd Burnard as the Environmental Services CEO of the Year – UK, and we wish him the best of luck for whatever comes next, both in his own career and regarding REDS Group. Contact: Lloyd Burnard Company: REDS Group Web Address: https://redsgroup.co.uk/

SME News Q2 2024/ 16 Collaborating with individuals and businesses looking to introduce unique, rewarding, and sustainable products to the world, North Product Design (npd) plays an important role in bringing innovative products and experiences to life. Here we take a closer look as npd is named our Best Technical Product Design Consultancy 2024. With a diligent focus on doing good for people and the planet, npd is a product design agency with a lot of heart. The small, close-knit team prioritises bringing change to communities everywhere, and they each embrace technological advancements so that npd can always stay ahead of the curve. Operations Director Georgina Partington says, “Our mission is to solve real-world problems with like-minded people. We don't focus on next season's style or colour; we focus on what matters – whether a product will do good.” npd knows that each client is different, and its team treats every project as its own individual ecosystem while committing to originality in product design and creation. npd’s strong portfolio of products speaks volumes about the company’s devotion to improving people’s lives. For instance, the thinAir Oxygen Therapy Machine couples intermittent hypoxic therapy with premium software to give individuals access to adaptive oxygen therapy wherever they need it. “We exist to bring good ideas to life.” This collaboration between thinAir and npd stems back to 2020 when thinAir’s team approached npd to fulfil their needs for an outcome they could rely on. CEO Chris Kavanagh of thinAir said, “We have worked collaboratively with npd on multiple projects – they bring whole projects together and act as a link between the engineering and electronic developers. Our products look great and function better than we ever expected. It is a pleasure to work with npd.” More recently, in 2023, npd worked with Safepoint to design and produce a beautiful bracelet which has the capability to save lives. Safepoint is a leader in wearable safety devices for at-risk individuals or lone workers, and the company approached npd to truly make things happen with regards to Callie – the smart jewellery that protects. Callie is compact, sophisticated in style, and holds the power of a silent panic alarm. Linked to features such as call-back services to providing emergency services with a precise GPS location, Callie is set to keep an endless list of individuals secure. Safepoint’s CEO Callum Coombes commented, “This was a really tricky project as we were moving from being an assembler of products to a manufacturer. npd brought great value to the project and with their knowledge of manufacturing processes they helped us to build a strong supply chain and created a product family that we will continue to build on.” These are just two monumental moments for npd and their partners, but, as the future beckons, the agency is set to embark on more exciting adventures. From creative product design and prototyping to engineering and manufacturing, npd offers a full service which gives life to those allimportant products which elevate lives and do good for the planet. After expanding its team greatly in the last year, npd plans on moving to a larger premises to accommodate for its work. Furthermore, with plans to offer more than design, npd will be introducing a new one-stop-shop package. Georgina reveals, “We are offering design, development, sourcing, procurement, branding and 3D animations to fully support our clients in bringing a product to market.” Awarded with Best Technical Product Design Consultancy 2024, North Product Design has recently been recognised for its dedication to its mission. We’re sure the future of this studio will be bright, and full to the brim with projects that will improve the world as we know it. Contact Details Contact: Georgina Partington Company: North Product Design Ltd Web Address: https://npd.studio/ Doing Good with North Product Design

Standing as a union between entrepreneurs and chef-patrons Sagar Barlawar and Vamsi Madireddy, Chennai Express has quickly become an establishment renowned for bringing authentic South Indian street food to the South of England. With a menu reflecting the very best of South Indian cuisine – with tastes taken from all five states of South India – the restaurant looks to deliver an authentic experience, while still catering to the wider palettes of its varied customer base. However, where Chennai Express thrives most is in its commitment to delivering genuine dishes. Be it through the use of freshly ground spices, or the presence of an open kitchen wherein guests can watch the magic unfold, the establishment brings an added element of wonder to the world of South Indian gastronomy. As such, it comes as no surprise to learn that Chennai Express is a favourite among both avid and average food enjoyers alike. Even the most selective eaters are presented with ample opportunities to lose themselves in the flavours and smells of the establishment’s dishes, with each one effortlessly capturing the enticing essence of South India. It’s for this very reason that Chennai Express has been recognised by SME News, and we look forward to seeing what new dishes it brings to the table in the coming months. Contact: Vamsi Madireddy Company: Chennai Express Web Address: https://chennaiexpress.co.uk/ Propelled forward by the mission of taking its diners on a culinary tour of South India, Chennai Express is an award-winning establishment whose knack for doing things differently has truly defined it. Since opening its doors in 2018, the restaurant has already proven that its flavourful flair is capable of capturing the unique tastes of South India cuisine to an astounding level of quality. Below, we share just a glimpse of the culinary capabilities presented by Chennai Express. Best Local South Indian Dining Establishment 2024 - Hampshire