Whole Foods founder John Mackey told Seven Hills co-founders Michael Hayman and Nick Giles in 2015 about the importance of ‘liberating the heroic spirit of business’. And it is a spirit that was very much in evidence at the Elite Business Top 100 Small Businesses 2023 (EB100), where Michael spoke to an audience of 200 founders and leaders about what the future holds for the UK’s small business ecosystem.
The EB100 is Britain’s official list celebrating excellence in the SME community. Food and drink wholesaler Cotswold Fayre came away as number one in the rankings, but the evening was about far more than awards – why business itself matters in times of challenge and change.
The awards recognised leading privately owned SMEs with 2-250 employees and turnover of £100k-£50 million. Judges included Michael, as well as two of his StartUp Britain co-founders: investor and entrepreneur Lara Morgan, and Learnerbly founder and CEO Rajeeb Dey MBE.
Attending alongside members of the Seven Hills team, Michael spoke about the ‘relentless GRIT’ of the UK’s small businesses: Growth, Resilience, Innovation and Trust – four hallmarks of success.
“Now is a fiercely urgent moment for us as business leaders to show the best of ourselves as a force for good,” Michael said: “Purpose is the point. Profit is the result. It’s the natural order of things.”
With the most powerful companies of our lifetime those yet to be created, it was a call to action for entrepreneurs with ideals to take charge of the moment. To move fast and fix things – to flip Mark Zuckerburg’s famous phrase on its head.
The EB100 are the businesses doing exactly that and it was a privilege to be amongst them.