International Business of the Year

The International Business of the Year is open to both novice and established importers and exporters. Judges will be looking for businesses that can demonstrate how working internationally has benefited their business profitability, growth and strategy.
 
Entry criteria:
 
  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us about your innovative approaches to establishing and entering new international markets and the positive impact this has had on your business
  • Explain why this is impressive compared to your competitors and peers
  • Demonstrate that this successful international performance is sustainable long term

Environmental Award

This award is designed to recognise the most ethical, socially responsible or green business. Open to any small business which has helped to drive environmental improvements across their business and/or the wider green economy. Judges will be looking for businesses that can highlight their main sustainability achievements, demonstrate how they have made an invaluable contribution to their business, and showcase how they are helping to drive wider progress in the green economy as a whole.

Entry criteria

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Demonstrate how your business operates in the low carbon economy, runs environmental programmes or has launched an environmental product or initiative
  • Demonstrate your business growth and financial success whilst delivering social and environmental benefit

Micro Business of the Year

This award celebrates micro businesses punching above their weight for businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Judges will be looking for businesses that have demonstrated strong revenue growth and a product or service of a quality that stands above competitors.

Entry criteria

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Evidence your current business successes and share evidence of successful business performance over the last 2 years
  • Demonstrate that your business has the leading edge over your competitors and peers highlighting what differentiates your business’s products/services from your competitors
  • Demonstrate that this successful business performance is sustainable long term
     

Start-Up Business of the Year

This award is open to start-up businesses operating for under two years in any business sector. Judges will be looking for businesses that have identified and exploited a market opportunity while building a solid foundation upon which their business can thrive.

Entry criteria

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Provide an overview of how the business launched and why it is filling a gap in the market
  • Evidence your business success since launch
  • Explain why this is impressive compared to other start-ups
  • Share your evidence of successful start-up performance and demonstrate that you have built a solid foundation upon which your business can thrive

High Growth Business of the Year

This award is open to businesses that have experienced exceptional growth in sales, profit, market share or employment. Judges will be looking for an organisation that can demonstrate the highest levels of growth with a strong plan for sustainable financial performance.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us about your current business success 
  • Evidence significant and sustained business achievements through a robust vision and growth strategy
  • Explain why this is impressive compared to your competitors and peers
  • Demonstrate that this successful business performance is sustainable long term 

Family Business of the Year

Championing the big contribution family firms make to business, this category seeks to reward the UK's top family-run SME with less than 250 employees. Judges will be looking for an organisation that can demonstrate how the family business's nature and values have contributed to success across the business.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about your business and the family members involved (100 words max)
  • Demonstrate how family values influence the business
  • Explain how the interests of the family are balanced against the interests of the business
  • Share your evidence of successful business performance
  • Demonstrate that this successful performance is sustainable long term

 Young Entrepreneur of the Year (aged 30 and under)

This award is for entrepreneurs aged 30 or under who have demonstrated the traits to achieve a level of business success that belies their age. Judges will be looking for young entrepreneurs that have seized the opportunity to establish their own business and are passionate for progress. This entrepreneur will be a beacon of inspiration to business people irrespective of age and industry.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us a bit about your current success
  • Explain why this is impressive for your size and compared to any competitors
  • Share your evidence of successful business performance 
  • Evidence that you’re building a scalable business or brand

Wellbeing Award of the Year

This award recognises businesses that are creating an environment for their employees to succeed by demonstrating their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Judges will be looking for those businesses that promote and encourage wellbeing and positive health amongst their employees through a number of initiatives.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us about the activities that your organisation undertakes to promote and encourage the positive health and wellbeing of your employees 
  • Share the impact that your health and wellbeing initiatives have had on your employees and the wider business
  • Demonstrate that the health and wellbeing of your employees is embedded in your businesses culture

Community Award – Area only

This is the category for businesses who partake in initiatives that support their local community, including apprenticeships, or makes a positive impact through employee led activities. Judges will be looking for evidence of businesses that have been either set up to support the community through their activities or for businesses who help support the community through donations, resources or other activities.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Share your evidence of successful community business performance 
  • Demonstrate evidence of measurable impact on and support to the local community

Business & Product Innovation Award

This award is where bold, new business models and innovative products delivering dramatic results can shine. Judges will be looking for businesses which either offer a ground-breaking product or service, or that are using an exciting new approach to improve or disrupt a traditional market.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us how your business has used innovation, either through development of a new product or process to move your business forward
  • Let us know why this is an innovation to your business or in your market
  • Explain to us how your business has changed as a result of this innovation
  • Share your evidence of how this innovation has directly improved your business's performance
  • Demonstrate that this improved business performance is sustainable long term
     

Digital/e-commerce Business of the Year

This award is for businesses that have the resilience required for the fast paced nature of doing business online. The award will go to the business that has delivered an outstanding online customer journey, showing responsiveness to customers’ needs, with the business results and growth to match. Judges will be looking for businesses that have used digital innovation and e-commerce to achieve growth, exceptional customer experience and increased financial performance.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us a bit about your current business success, particularly online  performance and optimisation of all aspects of e-commerce to achieve growth and strong financial performance
  • Explain to us why this is impressive compared to your competitors and peers
  • Share your evidence of successful online business performance or use of e-commerce to provide delivery of successful business performance which may include:
    o    Innovation & delivery
    o    Integration with digital lead generation
    o    Security, data and ethical trading policies
    o    Staff engagement
    o    Customer service
    o    Leadership & management

Self-Employed/Sole Trader of the Year

This award recognises sole traders and the self-employed and celebrates the tenacity and drive it takes to go it alone. Judges will be looking for you to demonstrate considerable progression, a sound business plan and a sense of purpose for their future. Judges will be looking for the self-employed or sole trader who has shown consistent growth backed by a strong financial performance, while demonstrating a clear understanding of the markets that they operate in.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us about your current business success and share evidence of successful business performance within the last 2 years
  • Demonstrate your business performance is sustainable long term along with a clear understanding of the market in which you operate