Corporate Jet Investor’s parent company Specialist Insight has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade 2019.
The Awards are the most prestigious award a UK company can receive. Her Majesty The Queen personally approves the winners and they are designed to reward companies of all sizes.
“We are delighted to have been chosen,” says Louisa Whyte, managing director, Specialist Insight. “When we launched in 2010, we never expected to be recognised like this and it is great achievement for our fantastic team, who just found out today.”
Specialist Insight was launched in 2010 by Louisa and Alasdair Whyte from their garden shed. It is based in Reigate Surrey and employs 15 people. The company runs Corporate Jet Investor, Helicopter Investor, Superyacht Investor and Revolution.Aero.
“When we launched in the shed it was really exciting as one of us would often run across the lawn saying we had just got a new customer,” says Louisa Whyte. “The downside was when you were on a call to a CEO and you could see one of the kids racing towards you before they started banging on the door.”
“Apart from adding a phone line and wifi, we did not invest a lot in the shed. That included the windows – which were broken,” says Whyte. “At the time people often spoke about the economic climate – we were far more worried about the real climate – it was a freezing winter that year.”
“Being international means long days dealing with different time zones and a lot of travel, but it also gives us some diversity – when the US business aviation market was down in 2012, China was growing fast for example,” says Whyte.
The 15-person team also includes staff from five different countries (UK, South Africa, Romania, Poland and India) and speaks more than 10 different languages.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK. The awards were first established in 1965 and since then over 7000 companies have achieved a Queen’s Award. There are 1.9 million companies trading in the UK.
The awards celebrate the success of exciting and innovative businesses which are leading the way with pioneering products or services, delivering impressive social mobility programmes or showing their commitment to excellent sustainable development practices.
This year 201 UK businesses have been recognised for their contribution to international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity (through social mobility). Some 129 companies have won awards for international trade.