There is no greater feeling than being recognised for all of your hard work. Everyone that takes the plunge and starts their own business will have endured sleepless nights, financial stress and personal sacrifice just to make their company a success. To then be given a tip of the hat by your peers and handed an award will not only give you a nice ornament for your fireplace, but also provide vindication that everything you went through was worth it.
Now in its 13th year, the National Business Awards understands that there is more to being a successful business than just generating billions in revenue, which is why it boasts several categories that celebrate the achievements of SMEs. For example, the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year award is for businesses that have been trading for less than 18 months and is voted for by the public. The finalists’ pitches can be seen here and voting closes on the 31st of July. And the biggest prize of the night – the Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year award – is judged on factors including contribution to the UK economy, consistent growth, strong financial performance, an understanding of customers, engagement with the workforce and continued innovation.
The awards also honour companies displaying the largest domestic and international growth and those boasting significant digital achievements, whereas the New Business of the Year category recognises the SMEs that have exceeded initial targets while only being in operation since April 2011. This year’s nominees come from all sorts of business sectors including retail, advertising, technology and energy. And with 24% of the finalists recording turnover of less than £5m, it seems we are likely to see some small enterprises handed big awards.
“These finalists represent some of the most innovative and inspiring businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises the UK has to offer,” says Dame Helen Alexander, chair of judges for the National Business Awards. “I’m always interested to see what the finalists are doing differently to stand out in their fields, and this year we have some fantastic examples of success. I’m looking forward to seeing them through the Dragon’s Den-style judging events.”
Alex Evans, programme director of the National Business Awards, added: “With market leading household names recognised alongside the best emerging business brands, these recovery-leading businesses have demonstrated the return on investment in people, innovation, customer service and leadership.”
A full list of this year’s finalists is available on the National Business Awards website and the winners will be announced at a typically glitzy ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on November 11. May the best businesses win!