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Ward Hadaway - Resilience Redefined: Yorkshire’s businesses forge ahead in 2024

Posted on 04 March 2024

The Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 awards, which take place on Friday 1st March, celebrate the success and achievements of Yorkshire’s fastest growing businesses.

As we mark the 14th year of the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards, our anticipation grows not just for the celebration but for the inspiring stories of success that epitomise Yorkshire’s businesses. The awards, held in partnership with The Yorkshire Post, are a hallmark event in the region which spotlight the fastest growing, businesses from across Yorkshire.

Emma Digby, executive partner at Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, will host the Fastest 50 event where she will share her thoughts on the region’s business growth and leadership achievements. Zandra Moore, co-founder and CEO of Leeds-based software company, panintelligence, specialists in business intelligence and data analytics solutions, will deliver the keynote speech.

Emma says: “Yorkshire’s businesses have navigated through the ebb and flow of economic recovery, displaying adaptability and innovation at every turn. In the face of evolving challenges, they have not just adapted; they have redefined resilience. We’ve witnessed an extraordinary demonstration of agility, with companies proactively planning and shaping their futures.

“Yorkshire businesses have embraced digital transformation, leveraging technology to enhance operational efficiency, reach new markets, and develop new products and services. What I think they’ve done particularly well is to use technology to create a more sustainable and enjoyable work environment for their employees and achieve an optimal work-life balance for their workforce.

“The narrative of 2024 is one of transformation and growth. Yorkshire’s economy, which generates around £110 billion each year, has seen its business ecosystem thrive, driven by a blend of traditional industries and emerging sectors. Whilst SMEs form the backbone of the economy, the region is also home to big business, with plenty of companies turning over hundreds of millions or billions of pounds.

“Yorkshire’s digital and tech sector, in particular, has been critical to the resilience of the Yorkshire economy with a vibrant network of startups and established tech firms driving innovation across the region. The sector’s rapid growth is not only transforming well established industries but also creating new opportunities for economic development and local employment.”

This year’s Fastest 50 speaker, Zandra Moore, who co-founded panitelligence a decade ago, is a champion of innovation and growth. Zandra’s journey as a business founder symbolises the spirit of Yorkshire’s business community. Her leadership and vision have not only driven her own company to success but have also inspired entrepreneurialism across the region. Her approach to creating opportunities from challenges showcases the adaptability and shrewdness that characterise Yorkshire businesses.

Zandra will discuss the importance of adapting to technological developments and how businesses, from SMEs to large corporations, can utilise these changes to their advantage. Her emphasis on the adoption of new technologies and the impact of data-driven decision-making will strongly resonate with businesses aiming for sustainability and growth in an increasingly digital world.

Emma continues: “The Fastest 50 awards this year are a testament to the tenacity of Yorkshire’s businesses. They demonstrate how organisations across Yorkshire are setting benchmarks for success, driving modernisation, and showcasing their ability to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing economic landscape. This innovative spirit not only contributes to the region’s economic vitality but also inspires a new wave of entrepreneurs to push the boundaries of what is possible.

“Market challenges have simply served as catalysts for growth. From navigating rising operational costs and cash flow issues to digital transformation and attracting and retaining skilled employees, Yorkshire’s businesses have turned potential obstacles into opportunities for development and expansion. This demonstrates that progress is not just about overcoming adversity but about seizing the moment to innovate and lead. I’m greatly looking forward to the Fastest 50 event and meeting incredible owners and leaders from across the region who are flying the flag high for Yorkshire business.”

The excitement builds as we approach the announcement of 2024’s fastest growing, most successful Yorkshire businesses. This year’s list promises to highlight the diversity and dynamism of the region’s business community, from trailblazers in technology to pioneers in traditional industries, who all contribute to a vibrant and resilient economy.

Emma adds: “Their stories of growth will not only highlight the talent and innovation that is alive and kicking right here in Yorkshire but also hopefully inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to embark on their own journeys of success. As we celebrate these achievements, we set the stage for future leaders, encouraging them to dream big, challenge the status quo, and pursue their ideas with purpose, passion and perseverance.”

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