The story of our unexpected success...

Nicolle and Delia donned their evening dresses on Thursday 28th July and headed up to the Pullman Hotel at St Pancras for the FSB London Awards Gala Dinner. Despite being delighted at their nomination for Best New Business, running a start-up and looking after the family (particularly during the summer holidays!) takes its toll and the last thing they needed was a night on the town.

A glass of champagne in at the stylish Pullman bar, a chat with two of the hotel's charming team and a catch up with Ruth and the gang from fellow Merton business, Crown Lane Studios, and their spirits rose as they chinked glasses and toasted all they had created and achieved whilst working together at Business Clan.

Having researched the list of the other nominees for Best New Business - eight in total - they knew they were up against some serious competition, so wrote off bringing home the trophy themselves and settled in to enjoy the evening.

They were in great company having The Pilates Clinic, Selufen and Always In Design on their table. Rajesh Agrawal, London Deputy Mayor for Business, talked to the assembled SMEs about how, when he was starting out in business, his bank refused him a business loan but gave him a car loan for the same amount - so he understands the challenges we face as small business owners!

And then it was time to announce the winners. The category of Best New Business sponsored by Wenta was first up. In second place... Deaf Umbrella, the company Nicolle was certain would win (and had told everyone in earshot so!). A whisper of surprise went around the table, then there was a pause whilst the winner was announced. The host noted that the judges had said this was "an outstanding story of innovation, vision and passion"... and the winner is BUSINESS CLAN!!!!

We'd love to tell you about the rest of the evening but it is a blur of congratulations, texts, tweets, photos, hugs, wine and celebrations, so you'll just have to browse the pics ;-)

Congratulations to all of this year's other FSB London awards winners and runners-up. Notably the overall winner, The Work Crowd, and fellow Merton businesses mum2mum market, Anderson Food Hygiene and Crown Lane Studios

We are very proud of our hardworking, talented team and everyone who contributed to this success - may there be many more!