AN innovative Oldbury company has beaten hundreds of small firms to be shortlisted for a national award.

The CMK Group Ltd, headed by Bruce Gardiner, is gearing up to find out if they are winners in the Innovation of the Year category of the national Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2014.

The contest celebrates the achievements of hard working small businesses and business people across the UK and is being judged by a panel of experts including leading businesswoman and star of BBC1’s The Apprentice, Karren Brady.

Mr Gardiner, whose company makes the mountain bike mudguards for modern bike designs, has the chance of winning £2,000 cash and 50,000 Nectar points.

He said: “Being shortlisted in the Nectar Business Small Business Awards is a great honour and will give the whole team here such a boost. It will give us great exposure to general consumers and attract further keen mountain bikers. “ The idea for the mudguard was developed when he and friends found they were too muddy to stop for a drink at a local pub after winter mountain biking and decided to come up with the perfect mud guard for all year round.

He will also attend a Nectar Business Round Table event in September, where he will meet and get business advice from Ms Brady.

Mr Gardiner added: “Attending the round table and being able to get first hand advice from the likes of Karren Brady about my business would be really valuable in taking us to the next level.”

If successful, he plans to use the prize money to help develop his mark two front Mud Hugger redesign.