Digital Innovators scooped two prestigious wins at the Solihull Chamber of Commerce Awards last night – Outstanding Small Business of the Year and the top prize – Solihull Business of the Year 2020.
With the team all watching the live stream together via MS Teams, there were chaotic scenes when our Founder and CEO, Mick Westman, had to abandon his post to answer the door to Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive, Paul Faulkner, as he arrived unannounced to present the Business of the Year trophy.
Mick Westman, CEO of Digital Innovators, said: “We are genuinely shocked and absolutely delighted to win two such prestigious awards – particularly considering the high calibre of the other finalists. 2020 has been challenging for us all – at Digital Innovators, we’ve had to completely change how we work so that young people continue to benefit from our skills programme despite the limitations caused by lockdown and social distancing.
“Winning this accolade is very much a team effort – not just by our core team, but made possible by the incredible support we have from partners and wider supporters. Most of all I would like to thank our past and current students – their feedback and success is what drives us forward and what makes us determined to grow. There is so much potential in young people across our region and we are privileged to be in a position to help them achieve their goals.”
Helen Bates, chair of the judging panel for the awards, said: “Digital Innovators showed a strong and clear vision, creating positive impacts for the local economy and the individuals they work with, as well as being a profitable business.
“Digital Innovators has grown in recent years to support over 500 young people aged 14 to 25, many of whom are not in education, employment or training, helping them achieve their potential by tapping into their innate digital skills and providing alternative pathways to employment. They work in partnership with local businesses creating highly employable young people who are sought after by employers.”
Digital Innovators’ junior project manager, Chris Kennedy, was also a finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category so there was plenty for the whole team to celebrate.
“Congratulations to all the other winners and finalists and huge thanks to Solihull Chamber for working so hard to make this a special event despite the challenges of COVID.” Mick Westman added.
Digital Innovators’ success is built on partnership working and collaboration, with particular thanks to curriculum delivery partners: BeSafetySmart, The Negotiation Club and Real Executive Coaching, as well as funding partners: Solihull College & University Centre, West Midlands Combined Authority, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Innovation Birmingham.
The 2020 Awards Ceremony was a poignant affair, held virtually for the first time due to the pandemic. Chamber representatives, local businesses and charities came together to celebrate triumph in the face of adversity and brought some welcome cheer to the Solihull business community. The event was also raising money for Arrive Alive, a charity which funds equipment and lifesaving vehicles for medically trained volunteers who are trained to attend 999 calls in those vital seconds/minutes prior to a road or air ambulance.
To find out more about all the winners, take a look at the Greater Birmingham Chamber news announcement.