Jelly men break the mould at business entrepreneur awards
These are London's top online entrepreneurs, who have seen their fledgling businesses thrive in the recession.
From jelly makers to a knitting shop they are named today among 20 winners of the BT Business Essence of Entrepreneur competition.
In total, 12 of the awards were given to inspirational businesses in the capital that have harnessed technology in innovative ways to succeed. Each has been honoured with a striking portrait by celebrity photographer Rankin. The pictures will be displayed at the Oxo Tower for a month from 28 January.
A panel of judges headed by Peter Jones from Dragons' Den and Claire Young from The Apprentice selected the winners.
The overall winner was Robert Matthams, of Shiply.com delivery services, who was awarded £10,000.
London winners include: Daniel Ox of Fruit for the Office, who won Young Entrepreneur; Sam Bompass and Harry Parr of Bompass and Parr, who won Original Business Concept; Sanchita Saha, of City Socialising; Sam Wahid, of Gift Republic; Alaistair Mitchell and Andy McGloughlin, of IT firm Huddle; Shane Lake and Tony Charles, of hungryhouse.co.uk; Ben Rose, of Inspiring Interns; Paul Lorran and Henry Bennet, of mobile phone firm Island Wall; Susan Cropper, of Loop Knitting; Ben Black, of My Family Care; and Emmanual Addy and Huw Jenkins, of Send Money Home.
'Making our jellies is quite therapeutic'
Eton school friends Sam Bompass, 26, and Harry Parr, 27, from London Bridge, call themselves "jelly mongers" after setting up a unique business selling fine English jellies and bespoke moulds online in June 2007.
They sell thousands of jellies a week and have created an intricate range of moulds and cookie cutters of London landmarks for the five-star Howard Hotel, in Covent Garden, and cater for weddings and corporate events.
"We use computer programs that Harry used when he was training as an architect to design the moulds," Mr Bompass said. "We're doing well despite the recession because we're selling traditional products, which people have turned to, and they're fun and can be designed especially for each customer.
"We came up with the idea when we were wandering around Borough Market looking at gourmet food stalls. We spend about two hours a day making jellies - it's quite therapeutic."
Hungry for success
Shane Lake, 36, from Putney, and Tony Charles, 37, created the one-stop takeaway website hungryhouse.co.uk in February 2006.
Diners can order from any independent restaurant near their postcode via the site for no extra charge. The orders are emailed to the chefs, who pay hungryhouse.co.uk a small commission and deliver the meals.
The company secured £100,000 from two investors on the Dragons' Den TV show but James Caan pulled out. They found other investment and now have 1,600 restaurants on board.
My yarns go global'
Susan Cropper, 50, from West Hampstead, set up an online knitting shop (loopknitting.com) and branch in Islington in July 2005.
She sources more than 100 yarns from around the world in a myriad of colours and ships them to customers globally. She also sells knitted and crocheted products from upcoming designers and general haberdashery, as well as organising knitting teaching groups. She said: "Fashion designer Stella McCartney used one of my organic cotton yarns in a recent spring/summer collection."