Business Awards bags global reach

Posted on Tuesday, March 5th 2013 at 10:31 am

Salford Business Award winners and finalists have declared the Awards as the stepping stone to global success.

Baba + Boo, and Swifty Scooters, both based in Salford, have seen their businesses surge in the last year, following success at the 2012 annual ceremony.

Swifty Scooters design and produce adult scooters. The start-up has secured overseas customers in the last year, ranging from the United States and Europe, to the Far East and Australia.

For Swifty Scooters boss Jason Iftakhar, it was the Awards’ host who provided the platform to global sales.

BBC radio presenter Evan Davis invited the canny entrepreneur onto his show ‘The Bottom Line’, after his firm scooped the Rising Star Award.

Jason, originally from London, explained: “As a start-up business, to have local recognition is really important. We have always focused on building the business and any recognition is a pat on the back.

The show was broadcast on the World Service and it helped to shore up Swifty Scooters’ appeal across the globe.

Jason established the firm with his wife Camilla. They met as students at the Royal College of Art and moved to Salford because of the extra space and the emergence of MediaCityUK.

He said: “We knew what was going on MediaCityUK when we decided to move up full-time. We’re here to stay.”

The Orsdall-based firm only employs a small number of staff, but it has not barred them from runaway success.

They have worked with desirable fashion brands such as Paul Smith, on exhibitions as far afield as Tokyo, Moscow, Sydney, Milan, New York and Los Angeles.

“Since the Awards our distribution has grown massively. We’re more of an export business now,” Jason added.

Remarkably, the firm has not spent a penny on marketing in its two-year existence. Jason remains adamant that it is the British heritage of quality design and reliability that has helped to generate revenues.

He continued: “There’s nothing else like it on the market and we will not compromise on our design principles. People around the world love British brands because they know it means quality. We have a valued heritage.

“We saw a need for a product in this category. Kids have scooters but there was nothing for adults, so we created a larger, foldaway, steel scooter for adults.”

Jason also has plans to expand even further. “We’re ramping up production to supply the demand,” he declared.

Baba + Boo, which sells cloth nappies and other baby products, ran a close second in last year’s Entrepreneur Award to the winners Return on Digital, but that recognition was the boost that busy mum Eve Bell needed to continue chasing her dream.

“I had been having a bad time with it all and trying to juggle everything,” recalled Eve.

“But being shortlisted changed things. It gave me a lot of confidence. I realised I was not wasting my time.”

And while Eve had considered giving it up before the Salford Business Awards, she has since launched an exclusive clothing range, won a Mother and Baby award, and started getting recognition in America.

She also has 12 agents across the country, from Scotland to Cornwall, selling Baba + Boo cloth nappies.

Eve declared: “The Salford Business Awards changed everything for me.”

Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “Salford businesses have gone global in a big way.

“We’re proud to say that the city’s recognition of their hard work and industry has helped them to achieve worldwide success.

“I am keen to encourage entrepreneurs to set up shop in Salford, which is a welcoming business environment and is rapidly emerging as an economic and creative powerhouse.”

Applications for the 2013 Salford Business Awards will remain open until Friday, March 15.

For further information, please contact;

Lauren Heaton
Salford City Council
0161 793 2061


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