Winners unveiled in 2017 Business Boost award
Business growth and potential were under the spotlight in November as the Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Boost competition unveiled its 2017 winners. A diverse range of finalists took to the stage for the awards event held at Newcastle-under-Lyme College’s Performing Arts Centre. Alongside the main prize categories which reward entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and growth potential, the Awards have always included a judges’ special award which went to a business with a unique or unusual business idea that did not fit into the main categories but was worth watching for its future potential. In 2016, this award was renamed the Philip Astley Award in acknowledgement that, whilst with hindsight, we recognise Astley’s entrepreneurial and innovative skills, in his day his business model was both unique and unusual.
The Philip Astley Award
The 2017 Philip Astley Award was won by Guinea Pig Wheekly UK. Founded by talented local illustrator Katie Leonard in August 2015, the Guineapig Wheekly blog now has over 20,000 followers all over the world and was also acknowledged as one of the most innovative blogs in the UK by the UK London Blog Awards of 2016. Katie’s product portfolio started with just 5 products but has expanded rapidly – and globally. Guineapig Wheekly now offers a range of beautifully designed products from cards and stationery, stickers, enamel pins, china mugs made locally in the potteries….and most recently, a successfully self-published guinea pig colouring book containing wonderful characters such as unicorn piggie, mermaid piggie and Cookie, the super guineapig.
We’re hoping for a new circus themed guineapig character in 2018 to celebrate 250 years of the circus!