Bury St Edmunds: Tie maker Augustus Hare wins regional round of Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards

Steve Elsom, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in East Anglia, left, with Sam Carlisle, founde

Steve Elsom, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in East Anglia, left, with Sam Carlisle, founder of tie manufacturer Augustus Hare - Credit: Archant

AN ARTISAN tie manufacturing business based in Suffolk has been named as Best Enterprise in the East of England round of the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards.

Augustus Hare, based at Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, sources quality materials from around the world and employs traditional craftsmen and techniques.

Besides winning a prize including a £5,000 cash sum, the company will now go forward to the national round of the awards next month.

Founder Sam Carlisle said: “Winning the Best Enterprise award is a great honour and privilege. Being awarded the prize money, mentoring and wider support is a huge asset which will help me to expand the company from just the UK into a global company.

“One of the things I’m going to use the prize money for is working with people who have expertise and knowledge of markets in the Far East, and particularly Japan, which is a key market for British luxury goods.”

The regional Best Start Up award, carrying a prize of £1,000, went to The Giving Card, an Elstree-based discount card linked to charitable giving, which negotiates discounts for consumers across the UK in a range of sectors.

The enterprise, which started trading in 2011, offers more than 5,000 discounts across the UK in more than 10 major cities and is partnered with more than 80 charities, including some of the largest in the UK.

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Dan Taylor, founder, said: “Winning the Best Start Up award means the world to us all at The Giving Card. It really makes a difference that other people are starting to take note of what we’re doing, and I’m sure that when other companies look at us now they see these achievements and will put a bit more belief in us.

“We’re currently in the process of setting up a sales team, and the prize money we’ve won will be absolutely essential in helping us establish the team and giving us a head start in the recruitment of these people.”

Steve Elsom, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking in East Anglia, said: “Seeing the calibre of businesses pitching at the regional heats yesterday has really demonstrated the wealth of entrepreneurial talent we have across the East of England.

“Both The Giving Card and Augustus Hare really impressed us with their business ideas as well as their commercial skills, and we awarded them the two prizes in recognition of their achievements to date.

“From working with last year’s winners, we’ve seen the tangible difference a mentoring programme can make to these young enterprises, and we really look forward to working with both Sam and Dan to help them to develop their businesses further.

“Helping these young businesses is a key part of our wider commitment to support enterprise, and these awards are a great way for us to nurture some of the emerging entrepreneurial talent that is out there. “Finally, I’d like to wish these two winners the best of luck for the grand final in April.”