UK ASSOCIATION of VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS memberÂ was nominated as a finalist in the Best Start-Up Business, organised by her local Chamber of Commerce, after just eight months in business.
Samantha Cannell of Versatile Assistant Ltd, a virtual PA and business support service for busy professionals, was pipped at the post as the award winner was announcedÂ onÂ 28th February, by the South East London Chamber of Commerce at a ceremony held at the University of Greenwich.
Ms Cannell was nominated as a finalist for the award, which is open to businesses based in the London Borough of Greenwich, along with 10 other local business owners. Versatile Assistant Ltd was the only finalist to be a member of the Chamber.
Ms Cannell said, â€œI am absolutely delighted to have been nominated, but obviously disappointed not to have won. However, the experience has inspired me to ensure I take Versatile Assistant Ltd to the next level, despite missing out on the awardâ€™s prestige and the Â£2,500 prize money that goes with it.â€
To be considered for the award, entrantsâ€™ businesses must have started to trade on or after 1st January 2006, having accessed support through South East Enterprise, Business Works or Hamara Assra. Entrants also needed to effectively demonstrate how their business had progressed in line with their original business plan. And any business success needed to be proven by the business having a clear understanding of their products, competitors and the marketplace in which they operate.
Having launched her virtual business in June 2007, setting up the business and initially working from home around her two year old daughter, Ms Cannell has made significant achievements by already exceeding her business plan expectations with the development of a regular client roster and the establishment of good business practices in a relatively short space of time.
â€œThe initial assistance I received from my contact, Graham King, at South East Enterprise was invaluable in the set up of my business and the good practices that I have implemented within the business, since then, have enabled not only Versatile Assistant to benefit, but more importantly, our clientsâ€ added Ms Cannell.
Mr King, said of Ms Cannell and her business, â€œThe courage, commitment and determination I have seen from Samantha in starting up Versatile Assistant Ltd is proof enough of her being a winner in my book. What she has achieved so far is fantastic and I firmly believe there is more to come!
â€œI know that not winning the award wonâ€™t hold Samantha back. She has a real challenge ahead now I and I am confident she will achieve that with the same courage and dedication that she showed at the very beginningâ€ he added.
Ms Cannell added, â€œAs a virtual business, Versatile Assistant is part of a relatively new industry and concept to the UK business community. Being a finalist in this award will hopefully give me, and Versatile Assistant, the opportunity to develop the business and bring the benefits of a virtual PA and support service to more businesses in the South East London and wider area.â€
ForÂ an online directoryÂ of Virtual Assistants operating accross the UK visit the UK Association of Virtual Assistants web site.