We were looking for the brightest and best entrepreneurial talent across six categories: Technovator, Mumpreneur, True Grit, New Kid on the Block, Green King and Borderless Business. But as the entries came flooding in - a massive thank you to everyone who entered - and while there were worthy winners in all the categories, it soon became apparent that we could have based the entire competition on one alone: True Grit.
Times have been tough across the board for UK plc in the past few years, but arguably SMEs have borne the brunt, with thousands going to the wall as the recession really took hold. And they're not out of the woods yet: figures released last month showed UK companies are getting later when it comes to settling their bills - potentially disastrous for small businesses.
Yet SMEs have proved to be remarkably resilient - the strength of the True Grit category is testament to this. Aside from our winner, Richard Edward, and the highly commended McAllisters Recovery, there were others which also deserve a medal. One of them is JB Banks & Son, a family-run ironmongers in Cockermouth, whose entire business was washed away in the devastating floods of November 2009. But it bounced back, as have so many others. We get a lot of stick about how our entrepreneurs don't measure up to their counterparts in the States, but this just goes to show that we Brits really are an innovative and bullish bunch.