The Independent Awards 2021

The Runners-Up

When we launched the Independent Awards in 2020, we soon realised that with so many phenomenal small businesses to choose from, one Winner per category simply wasn’t enough. So guess what? We added Runners-up.

Thanks to the incredible support of Dell Technologies. NatWest and Royal Mail, we were able to give these talented founders cash prizes of £5,000 each to help grow their businesses. And we can’t wait to share what they do with it.

Business for Good Award Runner-Up

Refuge Chocolate

The social enterprise Refuge Chocolate make freedom flighting, ethically produced chocolate to help end slavery. They exist to support survivors of human trafficking, donate proceeds to Flourish NI and provide work opportunities for survivors to help them gain greater independence.

We loved your products so much. You were the only business we ordered from that included a personal note and it made a real impact! We also really appreciated the recycled packaging. This was superb.

Mark Constantine OBE, co-founder of Lush

Modern Crafter Award Runner-Up

MW Makes

Developed through a passion for design and craftsmanship, Michelle creates personalised, handcrafted leather goods for the everyday, using traditional saddlery techniques. All products are made from vegetable tanned leather which is the oldest and most sustainable method of tanning.

Lovely to see natural techniques being used to dye your leather. We desperately need to move away from chromium habits. The love of the materials you work with is clear. They exude quality and finesse.

Mark Constantine OBE, co-founder of Lush

Small Business of the Year Award Runner-Up

The Tartan Blanket Co.

The Tartan Blanket Co. is an online natural wool scarf and blanket brand based in Edinburgh. With a focus on sharing warmth and sustainability, The Tartan Blanket Co. donates 2% of every purchase to environmental and people-based charities.

Great quality of product, branding and execution of communication. Their storytelling is also excellent across all touch points.

Marcia Kilgore, serial entrepreneur and founder of Beauty Pie

High Street Shop Award Runner-Up

Moo Like a Monkey

This colourful children’s shop in Folkestone offers a range of toys, books and clothes that are planet-friendly and designed to help parents raise kind, empathetic, individuals. Products are sustainably and ethically made, representative and inclusive. Plus the physical space has a play area and snug for cartoon-watching.

I love the work they’re doing in the local community and the ethos they have. Gig time sounds like fun!

Jay Blades MBE, presenter and founder of Jay & Co

Female Founder Award Runner-Up


Mutha.Hood sells clothing and other products that promote female empowerment and boost self esteem. Creator of the original Strong Girls Club, this brand’s positive and powerful tees are an empowering and inspiring reminder of female strength.

I love the sustainability element to their products. And any business that strives to empower others is a winner in my eyes.

Jay Blades MBE, presenter and founder of Jay & Co

With thanks to our Award Supporters

These awards would not be possible without our incredible small business supporters who truly believe in the power of small.