Meet the Soldering On Awards Finalists: Business of the Year – Scale Up Award – Sponsored by London Stock Exchange Group


Business of the Year – Scale Up Award

The Business of the Year Scale Up category is in recognition of a business that was started by an individual from the armed forces community; established over two years ago and retaining a minimum of 51% interest in the venture. The Business of the Year category Finalists are a testament to how well skills and aptitude developed during service transfer into entrepreneurship.


The chosen finalists for the 2019 Business of the Year – Scale Up Award category are:

  • Mama + Belle
  • Hannaman Materials Handling Ltd
  • UK Connect Ltd
  • White Horse Cleaning Services Ltd


Meet the finalists

Mama + Belle

Mama + Belle was founded by Suzy Olivier, an RAF spouse who had previous entrepreneurial experience as a personal trainer but who needed a business which could work around her husband’s various postings and her family life. As a mum herself, she soon realised there was a gap in the market for baby-safe teething jewellery for mothers, and Mama + Belle was born. A business which initially began in her spare room is now being stocked by various large stores such as John Lewis; with the product now being sold internationally. To find out more see:


Hannaman Material Handling Ltd

Hannaman Material Handling specialises in the sales, hire, servicing and repair of forklift trucks and was acquired by ex-REME Staff Sergeant Steve Downey in 2013. The business has since grown from strength to strength and has doubled in size and turnover to over £2.8m as Steve has further diversified the company’s offerings. They have been recognised in the Talat business report as one of the fastest growing companies in their industry. To find out more see:


UK Connect Ltd

UK Connect Ltd was founded by former Soldier PJ Farr who applied his army knowledge of creating secure communications connections in remote places around the world to his business. UK Connect provides broadband connectivity to hitherto unconnected locations in the UK, such as new building sites. This can be achieved within 10 days in any location. UK Connect have experienced rapid growth since their inception in 2013 and are the national provider for connection solutions to 6 FTSE 100 business, including a deal with Taylor Wimpey for over £5.3m. To find out more see:


White Horse Cleaning Services Ltd

White Horse Cleaning Services was founded by Lee Harris-Hamer who was medically discharged from the Armed Forces and faced challenges in seeking employment in Civvy street. Despite this adversity, the young entrepreneur set up a business to provide cleaning services for both the domestic and commercial sector. The business now employs over 25 individuals and they are in the process of franchising the business model to military spouses. To find out more see:


 “All the finalists in this category have done an amazing job in scaling up their businesses and are now inspiring role-models to other entrepreneurs still in the start-up phase. Whether their businesses were born out of challenging circumstances or exploiting a gap in the market, they have each proven themselves in their respective markets and have achieved a tremendous amount. We are so proud of these businesses, the light they shine on the capability of armed forces personnel, their contribution to society and also the economy long after service.” Ren Kapur MBE Founder & CEO X-Forces Enterprise

 All the finalists will be hosted at a reception at the House of Lords where they will be given the opportunity to network amongst each other and meet our judges and partners, including representatives from the London Stock Exchange. For more updates on the Soldering On Awards, see:

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