Colin Stevens 2012 National Business Awards Winner

From: Better Bathrooms
Published: Wed Nov 21 2012

Colin Stevens, Founder and Managing Director of Better Bathrooms has been revealed as a 2012 National Business Awards in partnership with Orange winner. Colin was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year 2012, at the gala dinner hosted by Sky News presenter Jeff Randall.

To help fund his professional golfing dream, Wigan born Colin Stevens began at just 21 selling taps out of his bedroom on eBay. Coming from an area with little opportunity, his story is one of true success, with Better Bathrooms’ 11 year journey seeing the North West based multi-channel business now the UK’s largest independent retailer of bathrooms and tiles.

Operating a hugely successful online store at, three showrooms in Manchester, Warrington and Wigan, two warehouses along with two trade counters; Better Bathrooms in manned by every growing team of now 156. By consistently reinvesting company profits to encourage growth, Colin has developed a thriving retail business; all with no outside investment.

Specialising in offering customers the very best value within such a highly competitive industry, Better Bathrooms’ business model has remained the same from day one, keeping strong with their company slogan of ‘Better Prices, Better Service, Better Bathrooms’.

The National Business Awards judges said: "Fizzing with ideas, counter-intuitive and disruptive, Colin proves that entrepreneurship is something you’re born with. Having started with nothing, Colin has achieved success through resourcefulness and brains – and stands out as a role model for entrepreneurs."

Colin Stevens said: "I’m stunned to have won; I never imagined that in just 11 years Better Bathrooms would be a multi-channel, nationwide retail business achieving such phenomenal success. To be surrounded by the UK’s top business leaders and talent at the National Business Awards was an achievement in itself, yet winning Entrepreneur of the Year really is like a fairy tale. With receiving this award hope to inspire budding entrepreneurs across the UK, after all, I started out with nothing, just selling taps from my bedroom in Wigan. Anyone can create a hugely successful business, entrepreneurialism isn’t something you’re necessarily born with, it’s all about learning and being truly dedicated to what you believe it. The Better Bathrooms story however doesn’t stop here, in my eyes it’s still early days and with such extensive expansions plans on the cards it really is going to be another exciting decade."

The eleventh annual National Business Awards were opened with a video address from the Prime Minister and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander also addressed the 1200 business leaders. Other influential attendees included Sir Roger Carr, Chairman of Centrica and president of the CBI and Chair of Judges, Baroness Virginia Bottomley.

Phil Smith, CEO, Cisco UK and Ireland was honoured with the prestigious Orange Leader of the Year Award, an award decided by a combination of public vote and a ballot from a panel of 35 senior executives from across the business community. Kate Swann, CEO, WH Smith received the Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business for her distinguished career leading retail businesses and turning round WH Smith’s fortunes. Other winners include Shutl, the web service who organise immediate and convenient delivery of online shopping, who took home the Start-Up Business of the Year Award, with judges commenting that they have been setting new standards for delivery and service in its sector.

Ella’s Kitchen, producers of organic baby and toddler food were awarded the 3i International Growth Business of the Year and registered charity, London Early Years Foundation won the Transformational Change of the Year award for turning a vulnerable charity into a financially secure social enterprise.

Alex Evans, Programme Director of the National Business Awards said: "Attracting household names, and those aspiring to be; the National Business Awards are the accolade of choice for those seeking the highest recognition – whether it’s to attract talent, investment, new customers or media attention."

Visit for more information.

The National Business Awards supports Help for Heroes, a charity that offers support and advice for wounded soldiers.

- Ends -
Notes for editors:
The Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business – Kate Swann, CEO, WH Smith

The Orange Leader of the Year– Phil Smith, CEO, Cisco UK & Ireland

The Entrepreneur of the Year - Colin Stevens, Better Bathrooms

The Business Enabler of the Year – Newton Europe

The Ecommerce Strategy of the Year -

The Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year – Trunki

The Small Online Business of the Year – Luxury for Less, trading as Bath Empire

The Croner Employer of the Year – Baringa Partners

The Huawei Customer Focus Award – World First

The ICAEW Sustainability Award – Marks & Spencer

The Start-Up Business of the Year - Shutl

The Orange Innovation Award - Apetito

The BlackBerry Growth Strategy of the Year - Joseph Joseph

The Transformational Change of the Year – London Early Years Foundation

The Leadership Diversity Award – Eversheds

The Coutts FTSE 100 Business of the Year – Intertek Group

The 3i International Growth Business of the Year – Ella’s Kitchen

The Grichan Partnership is the official executive search partner for the National Business Awards.

For further information contact:
Jennifer Whittaker
PR Executive
T: 0844 484 7678

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. Now in its eleventh year, the National Business Awards connects the nations’ professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round thought leadership and round table events; and is UBM plc’s flagship awards programme. Visit for further information or follow us on Twitter @businessawards.

About Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes (H4H) was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry after a profoundly moving visit to Selly Oak Hospital in the summer of 2007. Bryn and Emma met some extraordinarily brave young men who had been badly wounded and they just wanted to do something to help. The charity was launched in October 2007 and provides direct, practical support for those wounded, injured or who have become sick in the line of duty and their families.

About Orange UK Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators. With almost 131 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates. In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population, and 3G coverage to more than 93%. Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited. On July 1 2010, the company became part of Everything Everywhere, one company that runs two of Britain's most famous brands - Orange UK and T-Mobile UK - with plans to transform the industry by giving customers instant access to everything, everywhere, offering them the best value, best choice and best network coverage in the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is the UK’s biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million people and more than 720 retail stores across the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is registered at Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9BW under the registered company number 02382161. For more information please call the Orange Press Office 0870 3731500, or visit
Company: Better Bathrooms
Contact Name: Jennifer Whittaker
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