School of Business and Economics


18 May 2021

Loughborough alumni win Queen’s Award for International Trade for the second year running

Photo of Nick Crook founder of Boardies Apparel

Alumni from the School of Business & Economics have picked up a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for the second year in a row – a prestigious achievement as the Queen’s Award for Enterprise has only been awarded to around 6,000 companies since its inception in 1965.

Boardies Apparel, a swimwear brand founded in 2015 by BSc Retail Management alumnus Nick Crook (pictured) has this year been honoured with a Queen’s award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Boardies Apparel has successfully negotiated the challenges of Covid-19 by pivoting its business.  Historically selling through retail outlets, the company switched to selling direct to customers online and has seen a six-fold increase in online sales.  The company’s products have continued to sell around the world despite the pandemic and its restrictions on travel and holidays. This success in developing international earned the company the Queen’s Award.

Commenting on his time at Loughborough and Queen’s award Nick said:

“My Retail Management degree really equipped me with the academic foundations to launch my own business. My placement year in industry working for Reebok set the course for my entire career, landing a job at Umbro after graduation. 20 years later my own business has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise which is a great honour.”

Last year, Select Offshore, a renewable energy and oil & gas recruitment company, founded by alumni Mike Tann and Ryan Burville, received a Queen’s Award for outstanding short-term growth in International Trade.

Mike and Ryan studied Banking, Finance and Management and Management Sciences respectively, establishing Select Offshore in 2013.

The aims and values of Select Offshore are focused on providing exemplary customer service, which has resulted in a customer retention rate of over 90%. The team take great pride in their ability to create innovative and flexible solutions for its clients and contractors. Their ability to adapt to challenging situations, focusing on positive solutions and outcomes resulted in them being presented with a Queen’s Award for growth in International Trade in 2020.

Enterprise is an integral component of the school, and our remit is to ensure that students not only acquire academic know-how, but also develop enterprising skills with which to put their knowledge and expertise to good use. Find out more about studying with us online.