Ten small British businesses set to go big on 100 digital billboards around UK

Ten small British businesses are set to go big on 100 digital 20-foot-high billboards after winning advertising investment worth £10,000.

Small British businesses set to go big on 100 digital billboards
Small British businesses set to go big on 100 digital billboards

The ten brands, come from all over the UK and include pioneering biodegradable plant-based hair extensions for afro and curly hair textures, gluten-free and gut-friendly

snacks, swimming aids to help children learn to swim, Vietnamese pho kits and award-winning baby sleep technology.

They all designed and submitted their own winning adverts as part of the Small Business Goes Big initiative by small business support platform Enterprise Nation, Adobe and JC Decaux Nurture, developed to unleash small business creativity and help firms update their brand identity and reach more customers.

Businesses in UK given billboard boost

The winning entries were all put together on new design app Adobe Express and will be featured on JC Decaux’s portfolio of prominent digital billboards, bus shelters and landmark buildings, until September 5 2022, reaching up to ten million people nationwide.

Lola Cawood, 41, co-founder of sustainable plant-based hair extensions brand Tiwani Heritage said: “By creating our recycling scheme and now launching our plant-based hair, we are doing something that hasn't been done here in the UK before, and as a result, it's been a journey of trial and error, with many hurdles to overcome.

“Building awareness of the environmental impact of synthetic hair is an ongoing challenge and that's why we are so thrilled to be one of the winners of this incredible competition,

enabling us to spread this important message with nationwide publicity!”

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Billboards advertising small businesses

London-based stationery brand Marth Brook founder Martha Keith, 39, said: “We wanted to get across the essence of what Martha Brook is about - beautiful, personalised paper goods that genuinely inspire, uplift and empower.

“We hope that our advert will help as many people as possible find out about our small business, come to our website and discover more about what we do! Everything we do is with the hope it will inspire, empower and uplift our customers and we hope with this ad we can achieve exactly that. We love welcoming fellow stationery lovers into our community, so we have an extra special treat waiting for anyone who scans our ad's QR code…we are excited to see how many people find it!”

Cinthia Regina Sokoloski, 27, designer at Nottingham-based Doji (https://doji.co.uk website), a platform where people can buy and sell everyday tech goods, created the firm’s advert. She said: “We hope our advert will raise awareness of the brand and challenge how people perceive used tech devices: they shouldn't be forgotten in a drawer, they should be reused or recycled! We are not just driving sustainability, but we are also breaking the cycle of consumers facing hassle and basically getting ripped off.”

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Stirling-based innovative swimming aid firm Turtle Pack, company director David Sherman, 36, said: “Well I failed Higher Art at school (about a million years ago!), so I really didn't expect to be a winner! I wanted to create an advert that would demonstrate how fun and cool our product is, without coming across as finger-wagging or guilting parents. I think we’ve achieved that.”

Small businesses designed and submitted their own winning adverts as part of the Small Business Goes Big initiative

Emma Jones, CBE, founder of small business support platform Enterprise Nation, said: “It’s so refreshing to see small businesses as well as large, get the opportunity to see their brand featured in 20-foot-high advertising spaces around the UK.

“This competition has shown beyond doubt how digital technology can help even the least artistic business owners develop a strong brand identity and professional adverts that look visually stunning, helping them to really stand out from their competitors.

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“The adverts are conveying important messages such as sustainability, safety and deep-rooted passion. They are wonderful examples of entrepreneurial ingenuity.”

Simon Morris, Vice President of Marketing, EMEA and APAC at Adobe, said: “It’s been a joy to see the high levels of creativity from everyone who has entered and how they’ve used Adobe Express to bring their visions to life. This initiative was started to help small businesses across the country reach millions of people and empower them to market and grow their companies through the power of creativity, and we look forward to hearing about their coming success.”

Judge Lucy Werner, co-founder of HypeYourself.com, said: “For small business owners learning to hype themselves, everything starts with a story. The winners of this competition are all fab examples of narrative-led, simple and impactful campaigns. It’s not just about beautiful design, they have smashed creating emotion and meaning with their audience. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get a local business on a national stage and I can’t wait to see them for myself on billboards up and down the country.”

Who is eligible to enter:

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Eligibility criteria

If you're a small business, micro-business, freelancer or sole trader, you can enter the competition as long as you:

are based in the UK

have less than 20 employees

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are registered as a:

limited company with Companies House, or

sole trader with HMRC and have a unique tax reference (UTR) number

are not currently engaged in any striking-off or insolvency procedures

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What is the judging process:

The competition will close at midnight on 28 June. Then a shortlisting process will select up to 10 winning entries across the UK's regions. The judging panel includes:

Simon Morris, Senior Director, Digital Media Marketing at Adobe

Emma Jones CBE, founder of Enterprise Nation

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Joe Hills, Head of Nurture at JCDecaux

Lucy Werner and Hadrien Chatelet, founders of Hype Yourself