Olivia Burton founders awarded haysmacintyre Top Gun with Young Guns 2016 winners revealed

The country's most outstanding young entrepreneurs behind 30 fast-growth businesses celebrated in annual index

Jemma Fennings and Lesa Bennett, the founders of fashion-led watch brand Olivia Burton, have been jointly named haysmacintyre Top Gun at the Young Guns 2016 awards – the annual awards and index which shines a light on the UK’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs aged 35 and under.

Selected by Growing Business and an esteemed judging panel, theirs and 29 other fast-growth businesses make up the 14th index of pioneering young entrepreneurs that have built businesses boasting impressive financials, funding rounds, headcounts and client portfolios.

Celebrated at an exclusive awards luncheon held at Kensington Roof Gardens in London on Friday 16 September, the Young Guns Class of 2016 features 50 business owners behind 30 inspiring companies in industries ranging from food and drink to technology, cosmetics, and even sex toys.

Fennings and Bennett were recognised as this year’s Top Gun – the title bestowed upon the Young Gun that judges feel stands out the most – for their success in having scaled their affordable accessories business within just four years of launching.  The duo’s brand has secured listings with retailers worldwide such as Selfridges in the UK, Nordstrom in America and The Iconic in Australia, and the pair expect to generate turnover of more than £13m next year.

They take the Top Gun title from 2015 Top Gun winner Sara Davies MBE of Crafter’s Companion, and succeed the likes of Broadband Choices’ Michael Phillips whose Ofcom-accredited telecoms comparison site has become a market leader.

David Cox, partner at haysmacintyre, commented:

“As a fast growing business ourselves, Young Guns is a perfect fit for us and we’re honoured to be sponsoring the awards for a 10th year. We’ve met 300 exciting entrepreneurs over that term and we’re proud of their successes.

“Picking a Top Gun out of such a strong field was always going to be difficult, but we were so impressed by the Olivia Burton brand that Jemma Fennings and Lesa Bennett had created and inspired by how they’ve worked together as a partnership to build a very successful business in such a short period of time.”

View the Young Guns Class of 2016 here.

Image ©Peter Searle.

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