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Local Entrepreneur Shortlisted For National Business Award

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The managing director of a local tourism and accommodation business has been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious National Business Awards in partnership with Orange, it was revealed today.


Marcus Simmons from Leyland's iknow-uk will be lining up alongside representatives of national and international brands such as Unilever, Marks & Spencer and Coca Cola when the awards are presented on 9 November.


Marcus has been shortlisted in the Entrepreneur of the Year category and Philip Forrest, Chairman of Judges, praised his ability to deliver robust solutions for iknow-uk customers:  "Led by Marcus Simmons, this business has established and grown a successful model based on the need for an online accommodation directory that offered users a wide range of size and quality options from its supply member organisations, who can opt for a high value range of services.


"That's what made iknow-UK stand out from the crowd and secured the company a well-deserved place in the National Business Awards finals."

Martin Stiven, Vice President of Orange UK, said:  "Orange has sponsored the National Business Awards for the past nine years and I am delighted that the calibre of entrants keeps on improving.  It's been a tough couple of years for business but the UK's organisations have not let this stop them from delivering success.  I'd like to congratulate all the finalists for being a real inspiration for what is possible in business."


Marcus started out his career as a management consultant and worked in textiles until a difficult period after the 9/11 terrorist attacks left him without a job.  He decided to launch iknow-uk, a company which harnessed the power of Search Engine Optimisation long before most people knew what Google was.


The company has since grown to 15 regional websites, providing a one-stop-shop of information for people looking to head off on a UK holiday or day out.  The sites receive almost a million visitors each month.


Marcus Simmons said:  "I'm overwhelmed to have been shortlisted in the National Business Awards.  It's a real honour to be chosen as a finalist against such prestigious competition.


"I guess what makes these awards so refreshing is that smaller businesses, or fast growing companies like iknow-uk are given a chance to sit alongside some of the really big players in the international business world.


"I can't wait to attend the ceremony in November in London.  Fingers crossed I'll be bringing back a trophy for the iknow-uk team!"





Notes to Editors:


About iknow-uk

iknow-uk ltd launched iknow-yorkshire in September 2003. They have since launched iknow-scotland, iknow-lakedistrict, iknow-northwest, iknow-cornwall, iknow-devon, iknow-wales, iknow-dorset, iknow-kent, iknow-somerset, iknow-sussex, iknow-hampshire, iknow-northeast, iknow-peakdistrict and iknow-london.


April 2009 saw the launch of a comprehensive hospitality section to iknow-yorkshire,

which is now also available on iknow-lakedistrict and iknow-northwest.


Since their launch, the sites have received over 25 million visitors and created two million booking enquiries, which equates to £290 million worth of bookings, making iknow a leading authority on online bookings across the UK. 


For enquiries contact iknow-uk on 01772 521166.


About the National Business Awards

Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange is the UK's most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on excellence, innovation and ethical business. The National Business Awards connects the nations' professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round conferences and round table events; and is United Business Media's leading awards programme. Visit http://www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk/ for further information.