Continually aware of the importance of innovation, British Gas Business is sponsoring a category for the Smarta 100 awards – Smarta seeks to find the best small businesses in the UK.

These awards don’t just look at the companies that make the most money. The Smarta awards make a real effort to reward those with the most original ideas: the beacons of enterprising Britain, the people that make a real difference.

Due to the current economic landscape new businesses need to be one step ahead in order to make their mark. That means thinking outside of the box and constantly innovating.

The Smarta Awards celebrate the most resourceful and inspiring small and medium-sized businesses in the UK in a bid to boost their profiles and help them change the face of the world we live in.

And the shortlisted businesses for the ‘Most Innovative Business’ category are:

ento

Ento Foods

There aren’t many people who think of crawly creatures when wondering what they should grab for dinner, but Ento Foods are ready to change all that by introducing insects to the western diet. Convincing customers that they are not just nutritious but delicious too, Ento believes insects could hold the power to solving our huge food sustainability issues.

plan bread

Plan Bread

Dieters everywhere will tell you that bread is one of their biggest enemies, but avoiding the crusty stuff can be tough. Plan Bread offers those who don’t want to give up their sarnies a pleasant alternative. Founder Paul Shackleton has invented the lowest calorie, lowest carbohydrate bread ever made in the UK. The secret to the new recipe? It’s made almost entirely from broccoli.

toothpick

Toothpick

Hailed as the TripAdvisor for dentists, Toothpick means you no longer have to worry that you can’t get an appointment when you’re struck with a killer toothache. Users can locate their nearest practices, browse services and reviews, and then book an appointment online. There’s information on almost 2,000 dental professionals across the UK and 90% of patients receive an appointment within three days of booking.

blaze

Blaze

Cyclists have taken to the roads in their droves in the past couple of years so the safety of riders on two wheels has steadily risen up the agenda. Emily Brooke’s first product tackles the greatest cause of cyclist fatality – vehicles turning across an unseen bike or blaming it on the ‘blind spot’. The Laserlight is a front bike light with a laser, which projects the symbol of a bike down onto the road ahead so it’s easily visible to motorists.

spreddit

Spreddit

Pay in instalments for the brands you love. For free.

Fancy a few new additions to your wardrobe but can’t quite cover the cost with this month’s wages? Well-heeled customers can spread payments over three instalments with designer clothing retailer Spreddit. Customers pay just a third of the price of a garment upfront with their debit card and Spreddit foots the rest of the bill. The second payment is paid by the customer after a month and the third the next month. There are no interest fees or any additional charges, so you can have that Alexander McQueen dress or Dolce and Gabbana suit without going into the red.

codlo

Codlo

Turn your cooker into a Sous-vide machine.

Celeb chefs have been waxing lyrical about the merits of sous-vide cuisine for the last year or two. The process involves sealing food in airtight bags before dumping it in water but the equipment is expensive. The brains behind Codlo have dreamt up a gadget that transforms items more commonly found in the kitchen cupboard, such as a rice or slow-cooker, into a Sous-vide machine so foodies can cook like Heston at home.

neo-slip

Neo-Slip

Anti-embolism stockings are certainly not the sexiest item of hosiery but they might be the smartest. There is one problem however – getting them on. Their inherent tightness means many people give up altogether, with dire consequences. 25,000 people in the UK die each year due to preventable Deep Vein Thrombosis. Nurse Neomi Bennett has invented the ‘Neo-slip’ which goes on to the foot before the stocking and creates a lubricous effect, allowing the stocking to slide into place.

plumis

Plumis Ltd

Necessity is the mother of invention, or so the old adage goes, and there’s no greater need than that for effective fire protection systems. Plumis’ Automist is a fire-fighting system which uses water mist to suppress fires. The device uses only 5% of the water of a traditional sprinkler system, keeping subsequent water damage to a minimum. Unlike pesky conventional alarms which shriek loudly every time the toast is burnt, the super smart Automist is sensitive to heat, rather than smoke.

buffalogrid

BuffaloGrid

Mobile phones are taken for granted in the Western world but their popularity is also changing the lives of people in less economically developed regions too. Sadly, there is one pervasive problem – finding power to charge them. After noticing the issue on a visit to Africa, ethical coffee trader Phil Schulter became the seed funder of BuffaloGrid, a company that gives electricity hubs to entrepreneurs in remote villages in sub-Saharan Africa and India. They then sell power to their local community wirelessly so customers just send a text to get their electricity top-up.

Containers

Containers Hostels

A world first, Containers Hostels is bringing to London the world’s first ever hostel made from converted shipping containers. Guests are treated to a unique perspective of the capital by the company which converts unused patches of land into eco-friendly and sustainable accommodation. The containers can be set up and built in less than 48 hours and there are no waste materials in construction so the carbon footprint is much lower than a regular building.

Sponsored by British Gas

British Gas Business is sponsoring this year’s innovation category. Looking to discover Britain’s most innovative businesses and finding out how they are revolutionising their industries with unique and ground-breaking ways to delight customers.

Choose your favourite innovative business.  Vote now at:

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