Small business is the lifeblood of the North East and the rest of the country, with 5.4m SMEs accounting for more than 99% of all UK businesses.
And the North East is renowned for its innovative, creative and ambitious start-ups which flourish and often catch the eye of much larger entities.
That’s certainly the case with the winner of the most recent Small Business trophy at the North East Business Awards 2017 , Gateshead based Atomhawk.
The creative design studio has been providing artwork to Hollywood films and best-selling computer games since 2009, with its work featuring in the likes of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy, all for Marvel, Mortal Kombat X for WB Games and Killzone: Mercenary, for Sony.
Three months after being crowned North East Small Business of the Year in April, Atomhawk was acquired by Sheffield business Sumo Digital, paving the way for growth at the Northern Design Centre business.
Now judges are on the hunt for a similarly successful small firm, with those vying for the award having to meet a number of criteria.