On Friday 3rd March, we joined many inspiring businesses across the North West at The Edwardian Hotel in Manchester. It was for the finals of the Federation of Small Business’s Award Ceremony 2023.

Claire Buckle on stage collecting her award

Ability Consultancy were attending as finalists in not one, but two award categories – the Business Product & Innovation Award and Diversity & Inclusion Award! It was already a huge honour to be there, given there were lots of other great companies nominated as finalists and I didn’t expect to win. 

As the winners were announced by awards host, television and radio presenter Andy Crane, it was very special to hear our company announced.  I was over the moon and totally shocked at the same time. This award means so much to me, as it recognises something which I have built my whole business around – Diversity and Inclusion. 

We won thanks to our soon to be launched disability awareness app, which has been designed to show non-disabled people, features that occur within some disabled people’s lives.  It covers hearing, visual and mobility impairments, and uses virtual reality and augmented reality to demonstrate this within people’s own surroundings using their phone/tablet.  This is an exciting new feature in my business that will help to bring disability awareness to the forefront of people’s minds and help change the perceptions and stigma attached to disability. For more information about the app, please take a look at http://www.ability-digital.co.uk/.

The eventual winners of the Business Product and Innovation Award (sponsored by GC Business Growth Hub) were Social Sense Limitedan award-winning Social Marketing and behaviour change specialist based in Media City, Manchester. Their innovative approach has led to measurable improvements in health attitudes, perceptions and health behaviours since 2011 across the UK and internationally. A very warm well done to Social Sense.

We now have the chance to be crowned UK Small Business of the Year at the national final in Birmingham, so watch this space…

To find out more about the FSB Awards or the other winners, here’s a link to their website: https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/fsb-north-west-celebrating-small-business-awards-2023.html

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