Business Development Award, sponsored by Archant Herts & Cambs, parent company of The Hunts Post Shortlisted: Cambridge Golf and Conference Centre, The Nail Retreat, ISC Software Solutions, Inside2Outside Three previous awards winners are pitted in this

Business Development Award, sponsored by Archant Herts & Cambs, parent company of The Hunts Post

Shortlisted: Cambridge Golf and Conference Centre, The Nail Retreat, ISC Software Solutions, Inside2Outside

Three previous awards winners are pitted in this category against a strong entry from a newcomer to the Awards, Fenstanton-based Inside2Outside, which designs, manufactures and instals 'outdoor rooms' for homes, additional classroom space for schools, and extra shaded space for care homes and other clients. The company, in existence since 1991, has a corporate ambition to become Britain's leading manufacturer of bespoke canopies, shelters and walkways that stay in place however fierce the weather. The company's sales have multiplied five-fold in the past four years, from £500,000 to £2.5million, and are projected to rise to £10million by 2011 with a doubling in the size of the workforce.

Cambridge Golf and Conference Centre has won a number of previous awards as TP Golf Limited before it diversified after a £1.5million investment last year in new facilities just off the A14 near Hemingford Abbots services. Founded in 2004, it now employs 44 people and turns over around £2million a year. Income from conferencing has grown by more than 250 per cent in what managing director Peter Durham describes as "one of the worst trading environments for 70 years". The firm reacted to the recession-led downturn in 'fine dining' by successfully adapting to appeal more to families.

The Nail Retreat, in St Ives, burst onto the Awards scene in 2008 by winning not just the New Business Award but the Small Business accolade too. Initially-sceptical judges were impressed by how focused the nail salon's owners were on their customers but by the quality of their research and by how closely performance matched the original business plan. But, instead of breaking even in year one, the outfit turned a modest profit that enabled it to pay off its start-up loan. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, winning not just the Hunts Post awards but a host of professional prizes, too. Staff numbers have already doubled to serve more clients during expanded opening hours, and the firm prides itself on the training it provides to employees and its commitment to their career development.

ISC Software Solutions, based in Blackstone Road, Huntingdon, is a Microsoft Gold partner that specialises in the implementation of business management software to enable customers to reduce costs, improve efficiency and gain competitive advantage. The company, formed in late 2003, has more or less doubled its turnover in the past five years. With overseas earnings growing rapidly, huge recent investment should increase sales significantly above that over the next two or three years. ISC is the current holder of The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Website of the Year Award.