Best in Business Awards 2023

The Business Concept is delighted to welcome you to the inaugural Best in Business Awards 2023! The Best in Business Awards is committed to recognising and celebrating the achievements of businesses from around the world, with entries spanning various sectors and industries, from SMEs to large conglomerates. These awards will highlight the businesses who are staying ahead of the curve and leading the way in terms of the latest trends and developments. Through the Best in Business Awards, The Business Concept magazine will acknowledge the firms and leaders who have continued to show innovation and excellence, as well as promoting best practises, client satisfaction and established market leadership. The process is straightforward: in addition to nominations, we have our expert in-house research team that identify, evaluate, and reward businesses that we deem worthy of recognition for their achievements. This method ensures that, irrespective of industry or size, businesses can be assessed on an equal basis. About the Best in Business Awards 2023 Sofi Parry - Senior Editor

Contents 4. Drive An Group: Best Private Hire Taxi Licensing Specialists 2023 6. Sulci inc.: Best Sustainable Handbags Manufacturer - 2023 7. Ben A Sutter DMD PC: Most Innovative Dental Practice 2023 - Oregon 8. British Businesses Must Build Trust to Operate GenAI, Finds New Survey 9. Over 80 per cent of firms have changed to accommodate hybrid working 10. Sweden launches global tech event to bring together international business leaders and entrepreneurs 11. UK Businesses Modernising to Enhance Security and Counter Fraudulent Activity

With vast experience working within the city of Wolverhampton offering licensing, training, and knowledge courses, Drive An has supported and instructed more than 4,200 private hire drivers nationwide in the UK, ensuring drivers are fully capable of understanding and enforcing licensing requirements, such as vehicle condition, child sexual exploitation, safeguarding and disability. The company’s philosophy is guided by the belief that everybody, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, deserves equal opportunity to set their life in motion and strive for better. The company firmly believes in developing training programmes that are effective for everybody, and in doing so, changing the world for the better. In an industry that never stands still, neither do the team at Drive An. Through continually delivering future-proof skill training, the company guarantees that private hire drivers constantly achieve the best results, to adapt to their changing personal needs, and the needs of the wider industry. The team take great pride in providing exemplary service to partners and drivers, connecting and igniting opportunity for everyone by setting the world in motion. Drive An is the one-stop shop for private hire and Hackney Carriage licensing, as the UK’s first and leading licensing experts, whatever your needs are, the team have got it covered. Expert advice is provided for over 30 licensing authorities across the UK, including knowledge courses, compliance, verification, or even application processing from start to finish. We speak to Director Imran Ilyas, who tells us more about the operations, goals, and values of the company. Drive An possess an array of values that lie at the heart of the business, ensuring top-quality service is a constant and available to all. The first of these values is transparency, with the company emphasising clarity in all that they do, so that everything is understood, there are no unwanted surprises, and things remain visible with no secrets hidden away. There is also a strong sense of accountability across the team, with staff encouraged to take accountability for their own actions and results but work together to find solutions and improve these actions and results, in order to uphold the commitments and promises made to stakeholders. Furthermore, there is an integral passion in the work Drive An do, which extends to the company and the ability to achieve anything through an interest in learning and change. This is showcased through pride in the company’s brand and heritage, a culture that promotes a positive, energising, optimistic, and fun working environment, and a strong sense of self-worth, to value, promote, and respect the reputation the firm has crafted. This is reflected in the strong results the team consistently produce, which are celebrated, and helps to ensure that stakeholders feel appreciated and valued. This is all complemented with an air of respect, making customer satisfaction the top priority, respecting everybody regardless of age, faith, disability, gender, or culture, and forging sincere and friendly relationships with customers. This is all while guaranteeing the company always remains open to feedback and accepts suggestions on how to further improve, essential in an industry that is constantly evolving and changing with the times. Since Drive An was established, the team have been determined to prepare and deal with whatever challenges are thrown at them, and they have done this in array of different ways to ensure continued success. By keeping up to date, the team have a constantly evolving knowledge on happenings within the licensing industry, and regular communication with stakeholders shapes future plans, aiding the company in executing its next move. More recently, the company has had to deal with an ever-expanding range of technology, and the challenges of implementing this within its services. The team clearly recognise that technology, artificial intelligence, and automation is the way forward in solving the tasks and problems of today. Technology and automation can enable and aid the company in reaching its goal of doing better, helping to streamline services and increase availability. The inquisitive nature of the team lends to them constantly finding themselves questioning what will come next, and through research and meticulous planning for the future, Drive An can be as well-informed as possible about what this future holds. This in turn leads to a clear and concise plan, which is set and then stuck to, ensuring not only more robust business in the present, but a stable and sustainable plan to guarantee growth well into the future. This is true of the next five years, during which time the Drive An team expect to expand their services and products. With a plan to open office hubs across the UK, drivers and potential clients can easily reach the business, which in turn will offer them state of the art training facilities. Another area Best Private Hire Taxi Licensing Specialists 2023

5. Drive An is focusing on throughout the next 5 years is continuing to develop work in the fields of automation and artificial intelligence technology. As machines become increasingly effective at complementing human labour in the workplace, the company will implement adjustment plans to adjust and reap the benefits of this technology. The team strongly believe that automation and artificial intelligence will continue to improve businesses for the better and will contribute to economic growth via an increase in productivity. This is in addition to helping address “moonshot” societal challenges in areas from licensing through to driver safety. Despite these changes, the company intends to maintain its long-standing relationships with its stakeholders and customers, continuing to provide more value-added services, such as support and responsive after-sales services. For example, plans are in place to provide a more comprehensive after care policy after the handover of vehicle hire, online training programmes, and content. Finally, the team are proud to announce the recent development and release of a company app, entitled “Drive An: Become,” which is designed to service all private hire and Hackney Carriage drivers and operators across the UK. This app aids users in managing their licences on the go, offering licence expiry reminders, vehicle data and status checks, vehicle history checks, training courses for safeguarding and driver safety. The app boasts more than 8,000 UK users within its first six months of launching, and the Drive An team intended to develop and deliver more apps in the near future, ensuring both driver and operator upskill are trained to a high level, and that outstanding service can continue to be offered throughout the public sector. Contact Details Contact: Imran Ilyas Company: Drive An Group Web Address:

Best Sustainable Handbags Manufacturer - 2023 When Sekiya Satomi witnessed firsthand the situation of local women in the Philippines looking for work but unable to find employment, she decided to develop a way for women to earn an income and be independent through bag making. In the years since, Sekiya has taught local women crocheting skills from scratch, beginning with the basics, such as how to hold a crochet hook. After building trust and a relationship with these women, the quality of the work began to improve to such a considerable extent, that by 2012 the products were being sold under the Sulci brand name. It was Sulci that introduced the use of Raffia for crocheting with a crochet hook, as previously it had only been used for weaving in traditional circles. This method allowed the freedom of working from home, relieving the requirement for a factory space or machinery. Through its creative process, Sulci has paved the way for Filipino women to be confident in their abilities and independent to create a society. Everyone working for Sulci is allowed to share their hopes and dreams and encouraged to reach their full potential. The positive message that Sulci continues to reinforce is that women in developing nations have a great deal to offer society, and the possibilities of what they can achieve are endless. In the Sulci workshop located in Carcar City, on Cebu, close to fifty women living in neighbouring areas work as crocheters. Each woman can crochet bags at her own pace and is given the chance to hone their skills daily. In 2015, this was extended to female inmates at Carcar City prison, who would make bags and send the money they earned to their children. Furthermore, Sulci has been hosting a design contest for its workers since 2014, providing the top five designers with money and prizes, as an incentive to dream big and increase creativity. Sulci also hosts a fashion show, where crocheters appear on stage as models carrying the bags they crafted. Money is also set aside and donated to the Sulci Fund, which is used for medical care of the crocheters, school expenses of children, and future construction projects. Sulci inc. are a company specialising in crafting handmade bags from the local raw material raffia in Cebu, Philippines. The bags are crafted by local women, all of whom are provided training and a workplace. Eco-friendly, ethical crafting techniques are used in every stage of the process, and the bags are sold on the company website and in a range of department stores. We speak with Sekiya Satomi, a Sulci representative whose journey to the Philippines in 2010 kickstarted the whole operation. Aug23389 The bags Sulci produce are carefully crocheted and of the highest quality, with the local raw materials used benefiting the environment and helping contribute to the creation of an ecological and sustainable society. In the Philippines, raffia predominantly grows in colonies, and with an abundance of these trees, employment opportunities are created through harvesting. Raffia has a lot of benefits for crafting, with its durability, flexibility, and lightness providing such stylish and unique designs, Sulci bags are being sold in department stores across Tokyo. Each bag is accompanied by a round message tag signed by the person who made it, and customers can send a message back free of charge. For the Japanese customer, it lets them know who has made their bag, and for the crocheter, it is a delight to receive a message complementing their work. In addition to bags, Sulci offer custom orders for products such as cushion covers, hats, stuffed toys, and brooches, to name just a few. The future at Sulci is set to be bright, with plans to expand first into the rest of Asia, before possibly looking at tackling European and American markets, as well as Southern Hemisphere countries like Australia and New Zealand. Plans to extend the workshop, increase production, and hire more Filipino women are in place, and the team aspire to one day collaborate with major fashion brands such as Prada or Chanel. Taking steps in order to achieve this, Sekiya is actively making prototypes and samples, and an upcoming range of colour bags which incorporate embroidery and beadwork designs that have been passed down through the generations is sure to make major fashion labels stand up and take notice of the fantastically unique bags Sulci produce. Contact Details Contact: Sekiya Satomi Company: Sulci inc. Web Address:

in the Handbook of Research on Clinical Applications of Computerized Occlusal Analysis in Dental Medicine titled “Complex Medical Diagnoses with an Underlying Dental Etiology.” Through his work, Dr Sutter continues to change the lives of his patients for the better, providing innovative and non-intrusive solutions to those suffering from symptoms of TMD. Contact Details Contact: Dr Ben Sutter Company: Ben A Sutter DMD PC Web Address: Most Innovative Dental Practice 2023 - Oregon Dr Ben A. Sutter has been studying and treating at TMJ in Oregon since graduating from the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in 2005. Since completing a General Practice Residency at Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey, the following year, he has practiced general dentistry as a solo, private practice owner in Eugene, Oregon. Dr Sutter’s innovative work in the field of Disclusion Time Reduction (DTR) therapy has helped to significantly improve the wellbeing of his patients. Dr Sutter’s passion for dentistry and helping patients alleviate pain has resulted in him seeking out advanced education and training in treating neuromuscular issues and occlusion. These studies have taken him to such celebrated institutions as the Las Vegas Institute, Piper Education and Research Center, Perfect Bite Doctor, TruDenta, as well as Equilibration seminars. Dr Sutter has been the recipient of a number of accolades, earning Fellowship status in the Academy of General Dentistry, Las Vegas Institute, and the Center for Natural Occlusion. In addition to this, Dr Sutter is a Diplomate of the American board of Laser Surgery and was awarded Mastership in the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopaedics. Dr Sutter’s primary focus at his practice is treating the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), which include migraine headaches, head and neck discomfort, and TMJ tension headaches. As a result of his extensive education and experience, Dr Sutter has gained a unique, valuable perspective into the field of TMD, having trained with experts in the field from various disciplines in both the medicine and dentistry sectors. The approach that Dr Sutter brings is thus multidisciplinary, using techniques and concepts from physicians, ear nose and throat doctors, neurologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, dentists, and natural health practitioners. The therapy provided is non-surgical, and many patients have come to the clinic after unsuccessfully seeking pain relief elsewhere. Dr Sutter explains, “It is not uncommon for patients to have been seeking relief from their symptoms for years, even decades.” First and foremost, the practice helps patients to improve their wellbeing and quality of life. In order to do this, Dr Sutter was trained and certified clinically in office by Dr Robert Kerstein, the pioneer of a fresh and effective form of therapy – using TekScan on real cases to yield results. The approach to the treatment is simple, being as comprehensive as possible while also providing patients with the most conservative treatment method available. This new and exciting form of therapy is known as DTR therapy, and consists of a special, computer-guided treatment that has been proven to be much quicker at treating TMD than more permanent, often painful and intrusive appliance-based methods. By using computerized occlusal analysis technology and electromyography instead of traditional treatments like nightguards, NTI’s, or even Botox injections, patients can achieve results that virtually eliminate the need for any of these alternative treatment options. With the T-Scan system Dr Sutter has been actively using in his clinic for over a decade, he can see very small occlusal problems, which leads to a more accurate and tailored diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Treatment lasts on average just one to three visits, and results can last for years, as quoted in a nine-year follow-up study. A more recent study has revealed that DTR provides patients with a more comfortable and improved quality of life, as the treatment eliminates the need for splints, a soft food diet, or physical therapy, all things that would previously be recommended as treatment. Furthermore, the study presented the finding that use of long-term pain medication was down by over 90% when using DTR. Following his advancements with the treatment, Dr Sutter has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts on Digital Occlusion and DTR. The most notable of these is a book chapter published Aug23029

British Businesses Must Build Trust to Operate GenAI, Finds New Survey 91% of Brits think that government regulations are a necessary measure to hold businesses accountable for how they use GenAI according to new research from global technology consultancy Thoughtworks (NASDAQ: TWKS). The global study - which surveyed 10,000 consumers from 10 countries - reveals that the majority of Brits (77%) are feeling nervous about GenAI adoption in business and a third (35%) think that businesses should stop the rapid development of GenAI until effective government regulations are developed. The findings - collected as the UK prepares to host the first AI Safety Summit in November - also suggest GenAI has the potential to shake up consumer loyalty. The majority (82%) of those surveyed favor businesses that proactively communicate how they are evaluating the ethical risks and social implications of GenAI. When asked their biggest ethical concerns with GenAI, respondents cited ‘data use without consent’ (75%), ‘misinformation’ (73%), ‘harmful content’ (57%) and ‘societal biases’ (53%). Holding businesses accountable Survey responses indicate that consumers expect the government to ensure UK businesses adopt GenAI safely. According to the data, 91% of Brits argue that government regulations are a necessary measure to hold businesses accountable for how they use GenAI. A further three quarters (75%) agree that government regulation will help ensure the responsible and safe use of the technology. When asked what improvements the government needs to make towards GenAI regulation in business, respondents cited ‘disclosure on how GenAI follows data-privacy laws’ (68%), ‘improved user education’ (56%) and ‘the inclusion of penalties if [rules] not followed’ (51%) as key factors. However, Brits are sceptical about what an increase of regulation means for them. Nearly a third (30%) don’t think that increased AI regulation is actually for their benefit. It’s not all doom and gloom for UK businesses. The data shows that if applied correctly, GenAI regulation will put consumer concern at ease, as 61% agree that they consider ‘abiding by regulation’ very important when buying a product or service. Speaking on the report’s findings, Mike Mason, chief AI officer, Thoughtworks, said, “In a world where trust is paramount, businesses must understand that gaining the public’s confidence through ethical AI is not just a regulatory obligation, it’s a strategic advantage. For decades, Thoughtworks has advised our clients on how to tap into the full potential of the latest emerging technology. While also ensuring that they build responsible governance into business processes to protect customers’ trust. GenAI offers endless possibilities. We’re helping our clients to prove out new capabilities that survey respondents are excited about, such as idea generation for more innovative products, faster support and more personalized experiences and then productionizing those experiments as enterprise-grade software.” Vanson Bourne’s principal research manager, Lauren Woodley said, “Thoughtworks took a unique perspective to the fast-paced topic of GenAI, exploring how consumers feel when interacting with businesses that use it. The findings are alarming, with UK consumers stating many concerns surrounding how businesses use their GenAI-related data. This emphasizes the social responsibility businesses have in building trust and reassuring consumers. If businesses are able to tackle the concerns through being proactive and transparent, the future of GenAI looks positive, but the overshadowing cloud of fear must be lifted first.”

98. Over 80 per cent of firms have changed to accommodate hybrid working look to create a seamless working experience for their employees whether they are home or office based, and wherever they may be located. Robust and unified systems incorporating a variety of ways to communicate and collaborate make a huge difference, as well as having the ability to access real-time data to make informed business decisions. Ensuring employees are able to deliver just as effectively in their roles whether they are in the office or working remotely, not only helps with staff motivation but it boosts productivity, ultimately enabling a business to drive success.“ Joanna Kori, Head of People at Encompass Corporation, commented: “Today, flexibility is a key differentiator, with an increasing number of people favouring a hybrid model of working, so it is no surprise that organisations are making changes to accommodate the evolving needs of the workforce. “While a return to the office, as we have witnessed across many sectors, can bring significant benefits, including in areas such as productivity, team collaboration and engagement, many employees still value all that comes with being able to have some level of choice in where they work. “Employers should ensure employee satisfaction is top of the agenda by offering work arrangements that take these needs and wants into consideration, or risk losing staff for whom salary and job title are no longer the sole deciding factors when considering their career paths. The battle for talent continues and without prioritising policies that support employees in maintaining the work-life balance they desire, businesses will ultimately lose out.” Mark Dixon, chief executive of IWG, commented: “It’s clear that the old ways of working, with a daily unproductive and expensive commute, are long gone. Businesses are realising that not only does hybrid working make sense for their bottom lines, it also benefits their workforces.” “It’s encouraging to see that businesses are translating their hybrid working savings into real benefits for employees. Not only does this help in the immediate term, with improved productivity and wellbeing, but it will also help them retain and recruit the best talent.” 82 per cent of businesses have changed their office space needs to accommodate a flexible working approach which includes more than half of businesses opening offices or working spaces outside of city centres, according to a new survey from IWG. The survey of 500 businesses found that 54 per cent of organisations now have offices or co-working spaces outside of main city centres while 38 per cent have second locations in commuter towns as businesses attempt to accommodate staff who desire more flexible working. Employers are said to face challenges regarding the new flexible approach and the statistics support this claim as businesses attempt to accommodate the needs of staff, while organisations such as HSBC have said they would move their global headquarters away from Canary Wharf to smaller office after more than two decades. Assessments on current productivity when compared to pre-pandemic levels show no clear sign of change and the research found that 73 per cent of businesses have been able to cut their office space costs as a result of reduced central city office space needs while 36 per cent say they are paying less in expenses for staff travel. Sridhar Iyengar, Managing Director for Zoho Europe, commented: “Working models have changed in recent years due to the pandemic. Businesses should focus on adapting to new working models to accommodate the needs and wants of their workers and improve employee experience, in order to stay competitive. The emergence of hybrid working as a long-term working model has begun to reduced reliance on city centres. It’s good to see some businesses now relocating outside of city centres, which saves money and brings further benefits to employees and communities in addition. “Locating outside of traditional busy, overcrowded cities can help distribute economic wealth more effectively. Opportunities can be brought to more rural areas, rather than the usual drain of talent seen with workers moving away to where the opportunities exist in cities. Quality of life is improved for employees, who can be nearer their families, enjoy a more affordable lifestyle and enjoy more space and less crowding in their surrounding areas. “Businesses need to consider several factors carefully when developing effective hybrid or remote working models. Cost, employee experience, company culture, communication and productivity all play a key part. Technology plays a crucial role in any remote work as employers should

Sweden launches global tech event to bring together international business leaders and entrepreneurs Stockholm, Sweden, Today marks the launch of The Tech Arena, an international tech event and the first of its kind hosted in a national football stadium, Friends Arena in Stockholm on February 22-23, 2024. The event will gather thousands of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and decision-makers from around the world to meet and discuss important topics such as innovation, economics, sustainability, and global megatrends. “Sweden has in the last decades cemented itself as an innovation powerhouse of not only Europe but also the world, giving rise to industry-leading companies through Swedish ingenuity. However, until now, there has never been a tech event in Sweden that has matched this incredible output of innovation and world-class entrepreneurship. We are very excited to welcome the global tech community to Sweden, says Omid Ekhlasi, CEO of Techarenan. Sweden is currently ranked as the second most innovative country in the world and one of the top producers of unicorns per capita. The country’s role as a leading innovation nation and a role model for an impact-focused industrial and business sector has garnered global curiosity. This context creates the perfect foundation to introduce an international tech event focused on how the industrial sector together with the tech - and business community can cooperate to boost the economy, accelerate new sustainable ideas, and implement innovative solutions to drive positive change. “A dynamic environment for research and innovation is key to Sweden’s continued success in international markets. The Government will launch a new strategy for foreign trade, investments, and global competitiveness later this year, with a focus on innovation and research cooperation, among other things. The Tech Arena will offer an excellent forum for increased cooperation and new partnerships, and I look forward to participating,” says Johan Forssell, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Behind this event stands Techarenan, backed by government bodies such as the Swedish Innovation Agency, the official business agency for the host city; Stockholm Business Region, alongside Nordic and international corporations and organizations.

Automation driving business benefits Businesses continue to show an appetite for modernising and diversifying their payment processes to unlock a range of benefits. Customer demand is driving this innovation, with just over half (51%) of the businesses surveyed emphasising the importance of offering their B2B customers a choice of ways to pay when purchasing goods and services from them. Over the past two years, seven in 10 (69%) of businesses have considered or adopted automation with the goal of saving time, minimising errors, and reducing costs. Additionally, 57% have either integrated or considered using virtual cards, a digital alternative to physical cards. The research also revealed that individuals are more willing to experiment with alternative payment methods, such as e-wallets or QR codes, in their personal lives (61%) than within a business context (50%). Two thirds (66%) of respondents added they would be more likely to introduce a new payment method to their organisation if they’d used it as a consumer. American Express surveyed 750 professionals from all sizes of UK businesses, with respondents including senior financial decision makers and finance professionals responsible for payments. UK Businesses Modernising to Enhance Security and Counter Fraudulent Activity American Express today released new research revealing that UK businesses are investing in modernising their payment systems to boost efficiency and protection against fraudulent activity. The new study surveyed financial leaders across sectors on challenges and priorities related to payment digitisation and automation with a focus on fraud prevention and security. Across all survey participants, security topped the list of the most important considerations for organisations when exploring new business-to-business (B2B) payment methods; prioritised by three-fifths (60%) of respondents followed by cost (48%) and accuracy (45%). Over the last 12 months, almost a third (29%) of the surveyed UK businesses reported an uptick in payments fraud. Almost half (45%) of the firms reporting an increase in fraudulent activity have introduced new security and anti-fraud measures, while one third (34%) have taken steps to bolster current payments security capability. Respondents indicated they spend an average of 7% of annual turnover on fraud protection. Stacey Sterbenz, Vice President & General Manager, UK Commercial at American Express, said: “Secure and seamless payments are more important than ever for businesses so it’s not surprising to see UK firms investing in this area and seeking out partners who can support them in this area, particularly as more B2B spending digitises. At American Express, we’re committed to supporting our customers’ businesses through enhanced tools and controls that improve efficiency and reduces risk, along with delivering greater visibility of their B2B spending.”