The tabs below will give you the information you need about entering the 2022 Celebrating Small Business Awards.
 

Top reasons to enter 

1. Shortlisted finalists in our 2019 awards had a great opportunity for publicity, with the awards in many areas trending locally and across the UK on social media and in the press. Consider the impact that placing the phrase ‘award winning’ could have on your PR and marketing efforts.

2. Everybody likes a challenge and running a small business can be time consuming. Entering our awards forces you to stop and reflect on your successes and what you have achieved. It can also give you ideas for taking your business to the next level.

3. Awards can help you benchmark your business against your peers both locally and nationally.

4. Entering the FSB awards is free and you have nothing to lose. Just being shortlisted for the area final is a remarkable achievement and it could lead to national success and recognition.

5. Entering is easy and is done online. Many of our categories have just a few questions about your business and information can be saved and finished off at a later date

Top tips on your entry

1. Be concise and keep within the word limit. You have a limited space to grab the attention of the judges!

2. Give yourself time to apply – do not rush! Take the time to showcase your achievements but remember the entry deadline!

3. Tell a story and grab the judge’s attention from the title through to the content.

4. Substantiate your entry with attachments but make sure they are relevant to your entry. Remember to include links to your website and customer testimonials.

5. Read the criteria and make sure you address each point clearly. If you entered last year do not presume the criteria is the same!

6. Focus on your business success in facts.

7. Presentation is key– use bullet points or sub headings and make sure your entry is well structured and grammatically correct.

8. Enter the correct category and make sure that the award reflects what you excel at.

9. If you are entering more than one category make sure you tailor your entry according to the category. Entries that are just copied and pasted across numerous categories are unlikely to be relevant to the criteria.

10. Be passionate! Remember you are showcasing your business and achievements to the judges. If you are not being passionate about your business you cannot expect the judges to be

Which category should I enter?

1. You can enter each category once but as many categories in any area that you like.

2. Think carefully about your business and make sure that you only enter relevant categories.

3. If you are entering more than one category then ensure that you tailor your entry by category. Do not simply copy and paste your entry several times.

4. Read all of the entry criteria for each category before you enter. There may be some categories that you have not considered before. Have you been innovative, Green or Ethical? Remember innovation does not mean inventing a new product but can be a new business process you have adopted.

5. Read the criteria carefully and remember to save your entry as you go. Writing your entry in Word first before transferring to the awards website is advised.

6. Think carefully about your supporting documentation and make sure it is relevant to your entry.

7. Remember what you write may appear in our awards programmes so it is a good idea to write in complete sentences and in the third person.

Q. Do I have to pay to enter?

A. No, entry is free. To attend the area awards final there is a charge of £45 which will cover a two course lunch, drinks reception and one glass of wine or soft drink.  If you are successful in reaching the UK finals, you would receive one complimentary ticket. Additional tickets can be purchased.

Q. Am I eligible to enter?

A. To find out if you are eligible, please register to give you access to all criteria for each category. Companies must have less than 250 employees (10 for the Micro Business category). Companies must be based or have their head office in the UK to apply.

Q. Can I enter more than one category?

A. You are only permitted to enter into each category once but may enter as many categories as you so choose, provided that the entry criteria for each category is satisfied.

Q. What is the word limit for each question?

A. The word limit for each question is 200 words, with the exception of the first question, which is limited to 100.

Q. Can I extend the word limit for my entry?

The limits have been set at a level that we believe offers enough room to fully explain your entry. The word limit cannot be extended.

Q. Can I upload any supporting documents?

A. There is the ability to upload video links (not video files) and other supporting documentation. Any limitations on the size of documentation allowed will be clearly stated at the entry point.

Q. How do I classify the number of employees I have?

A. The total number of employees you have should be based on full-time equivalents.

Q. What happens after I enter?

A. Your entry can be changed, by you, at any stage before the closing date for each Area award.

Q. When will I know if I have been successful in reaching a Final?

A. Applicants who are successfully shortlisted as Area category finalists will be invited to attend the Area category final.   

Q. What time is each Area Final?

A. Each Area Final will commence at 12 noon and finish at approximately 4pm. Further information can be found on each Area Final page.

If you have any questions which are not listed above please email fsbawards@fsb.org.uk

Below you will find all the our category criteria to help you choose which one's are relevant to your business. 

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 trade markets and the positive impact this has had on your business
  • How has this given you an advantage over your competitors and peers?
  • Demonstrate the actions you are taking to make this sustainable long term

Environmental/Sustainability 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. Maybe add: If you provide a product or a service that enhances wider sustainability we would love to hear from you.

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? (Maybe: include any key metrics/data on the impact this product or initiative has had, eg: CO2e saved, plastic to landfill diverted or green KW generated)
  • Demonstrate your business growth and financial success whilst delivering social and environmental benefit. Evidence the sustainability and scalability of the business while maintaining ethical, positive impact best practice? (Maybe: Provide baseline data if its available to show year on year comparison such as CO2e reductions, waste to landfill reductions, water savings or other positive impacts that can be evidenced.)

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 how your business differentiates your from your competitors and has the leading edge
  • Demonstrate with examples 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 and progress since launch
  • Explain how this compares to other start-ups in your business sector
  • Share your evidence of performance and demonstrate that you have built a solid foundation upon which your business can thrive and be sustainable

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 performance 
  • Evidence your business achievements demonstrating a robust vision and growth strategy
  • Explain how this compared to your competitors and peers in your business sector
  • Demonstrate that this business performance is sustainable for long term growth

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 compared to your competitors and peers
  • Share your evidence of successful and sustainable business performance 
  • Evidence that you’re building a scalable business or brand

Wellbeing Award of the Year

This award seeks to recognise and champion the incredible steps taken by those small businesses that are creating an environment for their employees to succeed. These businesses will be able to demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Judges will be looking for those businesses that have developed and implemented an effective, holistic strategy which has had a proven and significant positive impact on the wellbeing of its workforce.

Entry Criteria:

  • Tell us briefly about you and your business (100 words max)
  • Tell us why wellbeing is so important to your organisation and your employees.
  • How has your organisation improved the wellbeing of your employees? Examples may be specific actions taken, outcomes and achievements, policies, procedures or projects
  • 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)
  • Evidence how your business has used innovation, either through development of a new product or process to move your business forward
  • Evidence how 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 about your current business success, focusing on online  performance and optimisation of all aspects of e-commerce to achieve growth and strong financial performance
  • Evidence how this is impressive compared to your competitors and peers in your business sector
  • 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

Yorkshire & Humber

Event Date - Friday 25th February 2022
Location - The Principal Hotel, York 
Entries closing Date - 9th January 2022
 

South West

Event Date - Wednesday 2nd March 2022
Location - Somerset Cricket Club, Taunton
Entries closing Date - 16th January 2022

East of England

Event Date - Friday 4th March 2022
Location - Newmarket Racecourse 
Entries closing Date - 16th January 2022

London

Event Date - Wednesday 9th March 2022
Location - The Royal Horseguards 
Entries closing Date - 23rd January 2022

North West

Event Date - Friday 11th March 2022
Location - The Midland Hotel, Manchester 
Entries closing Date - 23rd January 2022

West Midlands

Event Date - Thursday 17th March 2022
Location - The Principal Hotel, York 
Entries closing Date - 30th January 2022

North East

Event Date - Monday 21st March 2022
Location - Newcastle Marriott Gateshead  
Entries closing Date - 30th January 2022

South East

Event Date - Friday 25th March 2022
Location - Hickstead Internartional Showground
Entries closing Date - 6th February 2022

Scotland

Event Date - Thursday 31st March 2022
Location - Waldorf Astoria, Edinburgh 
Entries closing Date - 13th February 2022

East Midlands

Event Date - Wednesday 6th April 2022
Location - Leicester Marriott Hotel 
Entries closing Date - 20th February 2022

Wales

Event Date - Friday 8th April 2022
Location - St. Davids, Cardiff 
Entries closing Date - 20th February 2022

Northern Ireland

Event Date - Wednesday 13th April 2022
Location - Crown Plaza, Belfast 
Entries closing Date - 27th February 2022

 

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