Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2023: Winners celebrate with Amy Garcia as MKM's David Kilburn takes top accolade
David Kilburn founded MKM with friend Peter Murray in 1995 with just five staff and the help of his wife. It now has thousands of workers and more than 100 branches nationally.
Mr Kilburn said he was delighted with the accolade as he picked it up at the black-tie event at Headingley Stadium in Leeds last night attended by more than 300 people and hosted by BBC Look North’s Amy Garcia.
He said: “We’re very proud to be Yorkshire folk but also extremely proud it is a Hull-based business too.
“It is embarrassing in many ways [to win] because we have been very lucky.”
He paid tribute to his wife and other long-standing members of MKM staff who attended the event with him.
“We have a few of my people here, including my wife who wrote the business plan back in 1995. We are a group of people who have stuck together for the last 28 years, we have been very lucky. We have got some great people.”
Announcing Mr Kilburn as the winner, Yorkshire Post business editor Chris Burn said: “Judges described his story as outstanding and inspirational and his achievements are backed up by the figures.
“But business is as much about people as much as the bottom line and after he was profiled by The Yorkshire Post earlier this year, it was really striking how many glowing comments online there were from people who have worked with this person and had nothing but praise for him.”
Earlier in the evening, Mr Burn paid tribute to all the finalists and thanked the four judges who had assessed more than 260 entries to select shortlists and winners. This year’s judges were David Kerfoot, Sharon Watson, Peter Kavanagh and Sophie Dale-Black.
The Business Leader of the Year prize went to Younis Chaudhry from Bradford’s Regal Food Products Group.
He said: “From humble beginnings in 2001 to being one of the top 10 cake brands in the UK, it is all credit to the team. We have gone from 10 local people to 300.”
He said a key part of being an effective business leader is delegating responsibility and trusting staff.
The Large Business of the Year prize, for companies with turnovers exceeding £50m, went to Torsion Group.
The Medium-Sized Business of the Year prize was won by Green Building Renewables, while the Small Business of the Year was Sycous. In the same category, judges recognised UK Doors Online with a ‘highly commended’ certificate.
The Innovation Award, sponsored by Leeds University Business School, was won by carbon capture firm C-Capture.
The International Business of the Year was awarded to Belzona Polymerics, while the Technology and Digital award went to COVVI.
The Employee Health and Wellbeing Award, sponsored by Openreach, was won by the City Health Care Partnership CIC.
In the Sustainability Award category, the winner was Environment Bank with a Highly Commended certificate given to Go Green.
The Startup Business of the Year was Giant Bradley’s Sweet Shop, while Yorkshire Garden Centres won the Business in the Community prize.
The Manufacturing Award went to EnviroVent, with Evri picking up the Best Business Transformation accolade. In the latter category, a special commendation was given to Nature’s Laboratory.
The Diversity & Inclusion prize was won by Zenith, with Apprentice/Trainee of the Year won by Hannah Magowan from Dale Power Solutions.
The event was sponsored by Openreach and Leeds University Business School.
Buy The Yorkshire Post on December 5 to read the full 12-page supplement on the awards