Funding Bay Blog

Top UK Booming SMEs to Watch This Year

We love to see smaller businesses develop and grow. SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) face a lot of competition, especially post-Covid, but there are some fresh and exciting businesses blooming in the UK. Here are 5 SMEs we’d recommend keeping an eye on this year:

Unknown Marketing

Run by young entrepreneur Joe Yates, Unknown Marketing is a digital marketing agency with a difference. With a focus on social media management, influencer marketing, and paid social advertising, it has rocketed in growth from a team of three to a team of eighteen in the space of a few years.

Unknown Marketing will be opening two new offices this year, and it’s certainly one to watch.


Featured on the BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and Forbes, Peequal is a ground-breaking venture by Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane. Frustrated with the lack of facilities at festivals and other events, they designed a female urinal designed to speed up the queuing process. 

Peequal has been trialled across a few festivals and is expected to boom in popularity this year. It can make the queuing process up to six times faster, and it repurposes waste from the sea, making it an environmentally friendly choice for festival organisers.


Ogel takes plastic waste and turns it into ‘profile’, a substance that can be used to build anything (from desks all the way to flood defence systems). Featured on Dragon’s Den, it was launched by founder Gary Giles, with the aim of using profits to fund charitable work.

This is an example of a business idea that has the potential to shake things up, and it’s excellent to see plastic waste being given new life.

The company was a runner-up in the European Recycled Plastics awards, and the Northeast Disruptor of the Year category in the Great British Entrepreneur of the Year awards. There’s a lot of buzz around Ogel, and we can see why.

Bella & Duke

Dog owners Mark Scott and Tony Ottley became concerned after their four dogs developed cancer that processed food could be causing health problems for pets. Thus, Bella & Duke was born, and now concerned pet owners can purchase natural, raw, healthy food.

Customers can specify their pets’ breed, size, weight, and age, allowing them to order the best food for their needs.

Chosen as the Scottish scale-up for EY Entrepreneur of The Year UK, Bella & Duke has secured a lot of investment, and you can expect to see their presence grow over the course of this year.

Nina D

Nina D is a tableware business, based in Cheshire. Inspired by her Swedish upbringing, designer and artist Nina has designed a range of table runners, placemats, and coasters. Nina uses watercolours to create her designs, and she has a recognizable ‘look’ that is very appealing.

The company was chosen for NatWest’s business accelerator programme in Manchester, and we expect to see it expand over 2022.

See funding options

Further Reading