A young entrepreneur has won the overall county title at the FSB Bedfordshire Business Awards.
Georgia O’Keefe, who is just 20, owns social media management company Look C, which is based in Shortmead Street, Biggleswade.
She decided to set up her own business instead of going on to university.
Georgia says she was stunned to receive the trophy at an awards event held at The Conservatory at Luton Hoo last week.
She said: “I know you can’t get a job without experience, so I decided to create one for myself.
“My friends have gone to university, which has only driven me to work harder on the business.
“I can’t put into words what this means to me; it helps me realise that there is so much more I can do.”
Look C have been developing social media strategies and managing platforms since 2012.
The company also has a video production team to boost presence on the second largest search engine, YouTube.
Georgia comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her dad, Mike O’Keefe, also started in business at the age of 18.
He owns Royal Images, which supplies bespoke frames for anniversary cards received from The Queen for special occasions like 100-year birthdays and 70 year wedding anniversaries.
Proud dad Mike said: “I think her growing up in an environment where she could see me working at 1am and speaking to customers at the weekends rubbed off on her.
“Apart from being her dad and giving her advice if she wants it, I work for Georgia part-time, take out the luggage and do the tea-making! It’s her business.”
Georgia was also praised as being “encouraging for us all” by Daniel Whittemore, of headline sponsor Center Parcs Conferences & Events.
He added: “It is good for the future that she has won. She may look up to her peers in business but with this win she has arguably surpassed them.”
As well as the overall county title, Georgia also won two categories; the Young Business Person, sponsored by Silvertoad, and Real-Life Entrepreneur, sponsored by Alltech Signs & Graphics limited.
She also finished runner-up in the Best E-Business category, sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The full list of winners and runners-up:
Best New Business, sponsored by Wenta. Winner: Office Wings Limited, of Bedford I-lab, Priory Business Park, Stannard Way, Bedford. Runner-up: Stare Into The Sun, Ltd, of Basepoint Business & Innovation Centre, Butterfield, Great Marlings, Luton.
Young Business Person, sponsored by Silvertoad. Winner: Georgia O’Keefe, Look C, Biggleswade. Runner-up Marc Scott, of Liberty Bishop Contractor Services, Basepoint Business & Innovation Centre, Butterfield, Great Marlings, Luton.
Business Innovation, sponsored by White Hart Press. Winner: Community Life Magazine, of Bedford. Runner-up: JTM Plumbing & Heating Servs, of Stotfold.
Employee of the Year, sponsored by Basepoint. Winner: Mostaque Koyes, of Bartham Group, Luton. Runner-up Phillippa Martin-Moran, of Optimis Consulting, in Bedford.
Enterprising Business, sponsored by Luton Borough Council. Winners: The Play Doctors, of Bourne End, Cranfield. Runners-up: Osborne Morris & Morgan, of Leighton Buzzard.
Real-life Entrepreneur, sponsored by Alltech Signs and Graphics. Winner: Georgia O’Keefe, of Look C, Biggleswade. Runner-up: Irena Oliver, of FM Cosmetics, Luton.
Community Business, sponsored by Center Parcs. Winner: Bartham Group, Luton. Runner-up: Opimis Consulting, Bedford.
Business Person of the Year, sponsored by George Hay Chartered Accountants. Winner: Irena Oliver, of FM Cosmetics, Luton. Runner-up: Amanda Murrell, of Amanda Murrell Associates, Bedford.
Training and Development, sponsored by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. Winner: Osborne Morris & Morgan, Leighton Buzzard. Runner-up: Bidwriting.com
Best E-Business, sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses. Winner: Trademaid Limited, of Station Road Industrial Estate, Ampthill. Runner-up: Look C, Biggleswade.
Service Excellence, sponsored by Cross. Winner: Community Dental Services CIC, based in Manton Lane, Bedford Heights, Bedford, but providing services around Bedfordshire. Runner-up: JTM Plumbing & Heating Servs, of Stotfold.