Angela Hicks and Paul McEldon

National Enterprise Network Chairman’s Award for NSEA Chief Angela Hicks

Our Chief Executive, Angela Hicks, has received the highest accolade at this year’s National Enterprise Network Awards 2014, scooping the prestigious Chairman’s special award.

The National Enterprise Network (NEN) awards are presented each year to recognise excellence in the delivery of enterprise support and the Chairman’s Award is gifted by the NEN Chairman to a worthy recipient for excellence in the sector. This year’s award was presented to Angela in recognition of her long-standing commitment to the enterprise support sector for the last 27 years.

She joined North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA) in 1987 as business support worker, became General Manager in 1989 and Chief Executive in 1996. In that time the not-for-profit organisation has helped more than 3,000 new enterprises to start up and over 3500 local jobs to be created. It provides a steady supportive pair of hands to help entrepreneurs and small business owners with every aspect of running their organisations with experienced, knowledgeable and locally-based business advisors in place to provide impartial and confidential support.

The Chairman’s award also recognised Angela as the driving force behind The Hive, NSEA’s recently completed 20,000 sq ft energy-efficient and sustainable business development centre, which provides start-up and small businesses in North Somerset with the workspace, facilities and business support they need all under one roof. Angela dedicated over seven years to planning The Hive, which officially opened in July and is already surpassing occupancy targets.

Angela was presented with her award at the Barclays sponsored NEN Annual Conference and Awards held at the British Library on December 5th, receiving an engraved trophy and a bottle of champagne from 2012-2014 NEN Chairman Paul McEldon. NSEA was also shortlisted for the Future of Enterprise Support category of the awards.

Receiving her trophy Angela said:

“This award is totally unexpected. However I am thrilled and grateful to have been chosen as the recipient for this year’s Chairman’s award and to receive this in front of my highly esteemed enterprise colleagues from across the UK.

“I am very proud to serve North Somerset and the start-up and small business community there and to be part of a fantastic team of advisors and support staff who pride themselves on making a real and positive difference to the success of enterprise in our local area.

“This year, which saw The Hive completed and open for business, has certainly been our most challenging yet, but it is also the year in which we have achieved our dream and of which we are most proud. I would like to thank everyone who has believed in and supported NSEA and The Hive for helping us to get where we are today and NEN for its recognition of our hard work. We aspire to take the excitement and innovation of this year into 2015 and beyond.”

The NEN Awards round off a year of success for Angela and NSEA in 2014. NSEA was shortlisted in the Community Business category of the North Somerset Business Awards in September and Angela was voted Property Personality of the Year at the South West Property Awards in October.

Angela Hicks  and Paul McEldon