We are delighted to announce that Ana Mardell, our Managing Director, has been shortlisted as a regional finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2020 in the category of Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year. The awards aim to celebrate, champion and support enterprising minds in Great Britain.
Family businesses in Great Britain come in different sizes and span many sectors. Many have been around for a long time and around 100,000 family businesses transfer ownership between generations each year. However, family businesses have sometimes been considered incompatible with entrepreneurship because they can be bound in tradition and structure. Our entry had to demonstrate how we have created a culture which enables the entrepreneurial mindset and capabilities of our founders to be passed on to create new streams of wealth across future generations.
We are extremely proud that Ana has been recognised by these national awards, and in our first year of entering! Her approach to leadership is a modern and consensual one and since taking the reins she has built the Thesis team, boosted headcount and increased revenues. Alongside this Ana has ensured that Thesis continues to maintain the essence of family, which is the cornerstone of the business, and the flat structure that the founders, including her father, introduced. This system allows for the empowerment of the wider staff team, creating opportunities for junior members to step up.
Our family feel weaves through the business because our team join us and stay over the years: over 25% of staff have been employed for over 10 years, and nearly 50% have been employed for over five years. As a family run and orientated business, we continue to uphold our founders’ original aim of creating a means of employment for them, their families and future generations. We do this by ensuring our innovative approach is employed at every opportunity, which has led to product diversification at the right time. Our success is based on the LimbO waterproof protector, which was designed, prototyped and manufactured by the founders when one fractured his leg and needed a solution to the age-old problem – how to shower whilst keeping the cast dry. The neoprene seal used in LimbO became the inspiration for the Neocape hairdressing gown with its unique collar, which provides a comfortable seal against the skin, stopping hair and liquids from going down the neck. Most recently we have repurposed the Neocape fabric to offer face coverings, now in demand as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
More information about our fellow South East finalists is available on the GBEA website. The virtual awards ceremony will be held on 23rd September.