Founders of Dedham-based British Baby Box in final of NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Sarah Simons and Susan Purse of British Baby Box.

Sarah Simons and Susan Purse of British Baby Box. - Credit: Archant

An Essex baby care brand which has introduced an 80-year-old Finnish tradition into the UK has been shortlisted for a national award.

British Baby Box, run by two mums from Dedham, has been named as a finalist in the innovation category of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The baby box concept began in Finland where every newborn baby is gifted one by the state. The box acts as the baby’s first bed and has been credited as a contributing factor in reducing Finland’s infant mortality rate to one of the lowest in the world.

British Baby Box was launched in 2015 and has already has secured partnerships with several large health organisations, charities and leading retailers. It offers a range of products and packages to go with its baby boxes, meeting all British safety standards.

Sarah Simons, who runs the business with Susan Purse, said: “We are over the moon to have been shortlisted in one of the biggest award schemes for entrepreneurs in the country. We have worked hard to give a Scandinavian concept a homegrown twist which has helped us stand out in the UK market.”

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Susan added: “We pride ourselves on being 100% British. Not only are our baby boxes created by British designers, but everything in is sourced in the UK too.

“This allows us to support and promote British manufacturing and champion British companies who create luxury apparel and accessories for young children, using the finest British materials and the finest British craftsmanship. It is therefore very fitting for us to get a stamp of approval from the British Entrepreneur Awards.”

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Francesca Russell, creator of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said British Baby Box had impressed the judges, who include Dragon’s Den investor James Caan.

She added: “These awards celebrate the story behind these people – true entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are about their balance sheet.”

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards take place on November 21, 2017.

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