A Northampton-based husband and wife business has seen off thousands of applicants to reach the regional finals in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA) 2021.
Suzy and Paul Sanders of Alchemy Virtual Assistance are one of only six finalists in the Midlands family business entrepreneur category.
“The number of entries this year is just astonishing - Paul and I literally jumped with joy when we heard we were finalists,” Suzy said.
“We are a true family business in every sense, not just because we are led by a married couple, but because we wholeheartedly believe that family isn’t exclusively defined by blood.
"Our family includes our wonderful franchisees, our loyal clients and our wider business connections too, and we have worked relentlessly to support them all professionally, personally, practically and emotionally, especially over the last 16 months."
Alchemy provides remote admin and PA support to business owners, entrepreneurs and small enterprises all over the country from its base on Northampton Business Park.
Suzy set up the firm in 2016 and has continued to drive and grow the business around her and Paul’s own expanding family, with their second baby due at the end of the year.
The duo were recognised for their unwavering focus during the coronavirus pandemic as they continued to adapt and overcome challenges.
Judges also praised the couple for sensitively adjusting their marketing activities, quadrupling their enquiry volumes, further expanding their successful and thriving franchise, and continuing to champion and support local communities.
The couple say they are now even more focused on their bold vision to become the virtual assistant company of choice in the UK.
Suzy added: “Family is at the heart of Alchemy, our reputation and brand has been built around this whole notion, so to be acknowledged among thousands of applicants in this year’s awards programme has honestly left us speechless.
"We’re immensely grateful and it’s a true testament to the whole Alchemy group’s unique approach and the commitment that we all make to support each other and our truly incredible clients.”
During the official announcement, GBEA founder Francesca James said the quality of this year’s entrants exemplified the strength of entrepreneurship across the UK.
“We have seen some incredible finalists over the years, and this year is no exception," she said.
"It really is one of the strongest shortlists we’ve ever had, and the fact that so many exceptional people have applied during such a tough year is a testament to the resolve and entrepreneurial talent that exists across the UK.”
The GBEA programme describes itself as being ‘more than just an awards programme’ and is instead a supportive community recognised by government.
Judges include some of the most successful businesspeople from the UK’s biggest brands and the winners will be announced in a ceremony in September.