2022 – a cocktail of challenge and opportunity
Last year was a year unlike any other we have experienced to date – the extraordinary degree of uncertainty, change and emergence of new norms made it a tricky one to navigate.
When reflecting on the last 12 months, it has reinforced for me that over and above how good your products or services are – or your business' financial health – the thing that has made the biggest difference in our ability to still deliver incredible results in such challenging times are the people we have encountered along the way. It's their creativity, resilience, optimism and ethics.
In addition to the individuals and businesses who have benefited from our services, the power of partnerships has characterised the year.
Looking ahead, we are more determined than ever to continue delivering on our commitment to help other businesses go further by taking the hard work out of finding and using the best information, expertise and finance.
But for now, I wanted to take a moment to share and celebrate the collective successes of UMi - our customers, partners and team in 2022.
Thank you to all that have been part of that journey and we’re really looking forward to doing more and going even further with you in 2023.
- UMi became one of the first 1,000 B Corps in the UK.
- The UMi Community Fund donated £28,000 to help local projects tackle isolation.
- We defrayed more than £14,000,000 in grant and loan funding to SMEs – including the final COVID government funds for two new clients.
- We delivered 128 events to 6,800 delegates and were delighted some of our long-established events returned in-person including the Tees Valley Summit, Stansted Meet the Buyer, London City Meet the Buyer.
- We shone a light on many sectors and hundreds of awesome businesses through our Meta Games Index, Social Entrepreneur Index, Digital Enterprise TOP 100 campaigns.
- We launched a campaign to help businesses navigate the cost of trading crisis with the help of our amazing network of partners. A big shout out to Swoop Funding, Institute of Sales Professionals, Xeinadin Group, Best Companies and SBR Consulting.
- More than 10,000 businesses are now signed up to our Sat Nav for Business – offering them a blend of digital and real-world support direct from UMi.
- We celebrated our awesome team – being nominated for numerous awards, being asked to speak at lots of events and, of course, some personal milestones including welcoming lots of babies, celebrating apprenticeships and qualifications being achieved, and the team will not let me forget my own personal achievement, being awarded an OBE.
- Being employee-owned means we’re always looking for creative ways to support our team through challenging times too – with gifted additional leave, exceptional payments and our hardship interest-free loan scheme.
- We achieved ‘advanced’ level of the Good Work Pledge and Silver Better Health at Work Award.
- As a result of all of this, I am so proud that 100% of the team agree that UMi is a great place to work.
Looking forward to 2023
In true UMi style there are some exciting adventures that we’ve already planned in for the year, which we’ve shared below:
- moving to our new home and welcoming other businesses into it
- developing new innovative opportunities with the Shared Prosperity Fund and emerging devolution arrangements
- celebrating success through our Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, Scottish Export Index, Social Entrepreneur and META Games campaigns.
- continuing to support businesses through the cost of trading crisis.
- Forming new partnerships with likeminded individuals and organsations
- engaging the B Corp community to deliver our responsible business commitments.
If you want to see how we can work together in 2023, get in touch.
Nicki Clark, UMi Chief Executive