The drive for an export-led economic recovery was given fresh impetus at the National Business Awards in London.
Speaking at the event, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "British businesses are the backbone of our economy.
"Exports are growing as a share of our economy, our trade with the emerging world is soaring and the world is investing in Britain."
Kate Swann, chief executive of WH Smith (Other OTC: WHTPF.PK - news) received the Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business and Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco UK and Ireland (Xetra: A0Q8L3 - news) was named the Orange Leader of the Year.
The Entrepreneur of the Year, Colin Stevens of Better Bathrooms told Sky News: "It's a bit of a fairy tale for me, a bit of a dream come true. I want to tell people that I've done it so regardless of the recession and regardless of the way the economy is I've got off my bed I've done something.
"I've created a lot of jobs so hopefully it will give inspiration to other people to give it a go."
Sky News was an official broadcast partner of the event, which was hosted by Sky's business presenter Jeff Randall.