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East Hertfordshire based Ashbourne Insurance Sponsor National Business Awards hosted at Wembley Stadium

One year after winning an award at the National Family Business Awards, independent and family-run Ashbourne Insurance returned to the event as judge and sponsor.

Ashbourne’s Managing Director, Peter Smits presented Creative Nature of West Molesey, Surrey with the national winner award of the ‘Small Business of the Year’ category at a black-tie ceremony attended by over 400 guests at Wembley Stadium on Saturday July 14th, 2018.

Peter Smits commented: “Winning the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, South East last year at the National Family Business Awards enhanced our profile both amongst our customers and within the insurance industry. It has given our business a significant competitive edge with enviable PR. We are pleased to be giving something back to the family business community by sponsoring this year. We congratulate and salute every family business, thanking them for their contribution.”


Top Photo caption: (left to right) Guest presenter Candice Brown Winner Series 7 of Great British Bake Off on stage (far left) with Matt Ford (Operations Manager of Creative Nature, Julianne Ponan (CEO /Owner of Creative Nature) and Managing Director of Ashbourne Insurance, Peter Smits.

Bottom photo caption: Sarah Smits (FD Ashbourne Insurance) Julianne Ponan, Matt Ford and Peter Smits.

Regional winners of the Small Business of the Year Category included:

  • Ireland – Kukoon Rugs
  • Midlands – Airband Community Internet
  • North East – Carol Saunders Swim school
  • North West Francis Kirk group
  • Scotland – Our House of Spice
  • South East- Creative Nature
  • South west- Automation Ninjas
  • Wales – Cando laundry Services

Of the overall national winner, Peter further commented, “Creative Nature is a business to be admired, with its difficult start and a management buy out to its current position supplying products in the UK supermarkets, health food shops and overseas market. Julianne has certainly been on a journey, experiencing the highs and lows of creating healthy products and getting them into the market place. Through sheer determination, courage and having the utmost faith in their products Creative Nature are worthy winners as National Champions of the Best Small Business Award.”

Winning CEO & Founder of Creative Nature, Julianne Ponan said, ”To hear Creative Nature named the National Winner for Best Small Business, we had to pinch ourselves. There are so many incredible small businesses across the country, so to be recognised on a National Level was amazing. Our journey so far has been full of ups and downs but whose journey isn’t, it’s about jumping off that cliff and building the plane on the way down. We are true believers in every business needs a purpose and ours is to cater for allergies and making healthy eating much tastier.

The National Family Business Awards, organised and hosted by Family Business Place have a growing reputation for discovering and recognising the most outstanding family businesses throughout all four corners of the UK and Ireland.  From luxury jewellers and Savile Row tailors, to cider makers and manufacturers – the UK is bursting with entrepreneurial families. Be it fifth generation farmers or sibling start-ups, they provide millions of jobs and contribute billions to the UK economy. The National Family Business Awards are a national celebration of family firms, large and small, north and south.

Ashbourne, which has been established for over 37 years and is now run by the second generation of family members, won the “Customer First” award at the National Family Business Awards (previously known as the Red Ribbon Family Awards) in 2012 against stiff competition including The Goring Hotel, Timpson’s and Travel Counsellors. The Hoddesdon based company also picked up a second award in 2012 when Finance Director Sarah Smits, won the “Family Business Ambassador” award. Ashbourne has scooped numerous other business awards over the years at the FSB Hertfordshire Business Awards, British Chambers of Commerce, Inspiring Herts Business Awards, National Red Ribbon Family Business Awards and the National Family Business Awards.

Ashbourne Insurance offers a wide range of business and personal insurances along with a claims advisory service. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit  Follow on twitter @AshInsServices

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