The News Business Excellence Awards: Start-up of the Year

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IT stands out from the rest and has bags of potential.

And that is why Seagrass Communications has been crowned start-up business of the year.

NEW FACE Anna Wardley from Seagrass Communications which won the Start Up Business of the Year award ''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150405-6)

NEW FACE Anna Wardley from Seagrass Communications which won the Start Up Business of the Year award ''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150405-6)

The Gosport maritime communications firm was established by Anna Wardley – well-known for her charity swimming exploits – in December 2013 and has gone from strength to strength.

She was inspired to set up her own business after finishing a fundraiser swim around the Isle of Wight and getting an itch for a new challenge.

Anna now has a team of freelancers who help on different international and local projects.

Last year, it was involved in the promotion of an Oceans of Hope sailing challenge, which gave people who suffer with MS the opportunity to get out on the water.

Looking back on her success, Anna said: ‘It’s been a massive challenge and I don’t think I realised at the time quite what a huge leap it would be running your own limited company.

‘As a small company you do everything – from taking people on, HR to buying and putting together desks.

‘Winning this award is remarkable really. What’s fantastic about it is, all the hard work we have done has been recognised, and it really is hard work. I am saying that from the perspective of someone who can swim for 26-and-a-half hours non-stop.

‘I am not afraid of hard graft. It is not unusual for us to be here late at night well past midnight ordering takeaway pizzas when we are up against it getting a project off the ground.’

Anna, 39, who lives in Gosport, said she just wants to continue building on the company’s success.

‘We want to do more of the same, we like what we do,’ she said.

‘We work with companies like the Jubilee Sailing Trust who work with people of differing disabilities.’