eBay and Management Today reveal first digital small business power list

List of most promising SMEs and start-ups will be put to be public vote to determine the people’s favourite

List of most promising SMEs and start-ups will be put to be public vote to determine the people’s favourite

EBay and Management Today have jointly revealed a list of the UK’s 36 most powerful digital small businesses.

The businesses were chosen by some of the country’s most influential business leaders. The countdown celebrates companies that are driving business growth in innovative and disruptive ways.

The companies come from a diverse range of sectors including engineering, music, property and transport.

The list also highlights the number of innovative businesses outside of London and the South-East. Early-stage companies from Belfast, Dundee, Leeds, Harrogate, Manchester, Colchester and Ross-on-Wye all feature.

A final eight that includes Beer Hawk, Shazam and Citymapper will be put to be public vote on the 25 June to determine the country’s favourite.

eBay COO Sarah Calcott said technology is “opening up tremendous opportunities for Britain’s small businesses”.

“At eBay, we have been providing these businesses with a ‘digital shop window’ for almost two decades,” she continued.

“There are so many of these digital success stories, but too often their economic contribution and commitment to innovation is overlooked. We have worked with Management Today to create the Digital Small Business Power List to give small businesses and entrepreneurs the recognition they deserve.”


·         Beer Hawk – nominated by Funding Circle co-founder James Meekings.

“We personally dip our beaks into thousands of beers, far and wide.” So runs the Beer Hawk mission statement. It’s a simple enough concern: an online service offering craft beer and real ale from over 300 artisan breweries around the world. beerhawk.co.uk, based in North Yorkshire.

·         SoundOut – nominated by Ariadne Capital chairman Julie Meyer.

SoundOut gives predictive insight to various industries, including music, fashion, advertising and FMCG. Its Slicethepie hub takes reviews and ratings from a team of over 750,000 reviewers, so new products can be compared against a database of almost 15 million reviews.www.soundout.com, based in Berkshire.

·         Recite Me – nominated by Powa Technologies chief exec Dan Wagner.

Recite Me helps organisations, including Gatwick Airport, make their websites more accessible. Its Recite software allows users to customise the website they’re on so it works better for them. Tools include text-to-speech conversion, translation, and adjustable font sizes.reciteme.com, based in Gateshead.

·         Shazam – nominated by Unruly Media co-founder Sarah Wood.

This app identifies what song you’re listening to and allows you to buy it. It has over 100 million monthly active users, who can now even Shazam TV shows and ads. Doing so unlocks special offers and more information on what they’re watching. www.shazam.com, global.

·          CityMapper – nominated by MT deputy editor Andrew Saunders.

Azmat Yusuf was confused by London’s public transport, so he designed a responsive app to map out any journey in the city. Citymapper now covers others from Philadelphia to Singapore and is already a favourite among Apple Watch wearers. citymapper.com , based in London.

·         Bright Network – nominated by eBay UK COO Sarah Calcott

This free graduate careers network was founded in 2008 by James Uffindell. Its 40,000 members get an open door to Google, McKinsey and PwC through personal introductions and networking events. The corporate partners get their pick of talented youngsters. www.brightnetwork.co.uk, based in London.

·         XS Items – also nominated by Sarah Calcott.

XS Items provides a ‘unique alternative to traditional salvage’, using eBay to sell excess stock, customer returns and redundant machinery on behalf of other companies. The founders, Montgomerie and Gareth Miller, spotted a gap in the market for a company to sell items on behalf of individuals, businesses and charities on eBay. Now, XS Items has annual turnover £4m per annum – it’s a true eBay success story. xsitems.com, based in Colchester.

·         Tamebay – nominated by Thingimijigs boss Rachael White.

An independent blog turned one-stop shop for retailers seeking e-commerce news, information and advice. The team also publishes the annual Tamebay Guide, a round-up of e-commerce platforms, selling tools and payment options – an invaluable time-saver for SMEs. tamebay.com, based in London.



Praseeda Nair

Kellen Rempel

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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