Business competitions and start-up awards can offer more than just funding, providing winners and finalists with excellent PR opportunities and prestige which can open doors and help leverage further funding and investment.
There are literally hundreds of competitions and awards taking place in Britain throughout the year and many of these are often restricted by geographical location, type of business and age of the business owner.
However, if you’re looking to raise your profile on a regional or national scale, then the following competitions and awards are highly rated and well worth considering:
Since 2002, the National Business Awards have been ‘connecting the UK’s business leaders through its annual ceremony and year-round thought leadership programme to celebrate enterprise excellence’. Any company within the UK, whether public, private or third sector can enter the National Business Awards, regardless of size or industry. Unlike all the other competitions on this list, there is currently a cost of £295 + VAT to enter the awards but this may still be worth it for the networking opportunities and potential PR it provides. Find out more.
Now is the time for Britain’s smaller businesses to step into the limelight and celebrate their achievements on a national level by entering the FSB Business Awards.
What are the Awards?
Designed to recognise and reward the excellence, resilience and innovation of SMEs across the country, the Awards are open to all businesses with fewer than 250 employees and it’s free to enter.
There are 11 different categories to choose from, four of which are new for 2017 – plus the all-important chance to scoop up to £12,000 in prize money. There’s no limit on the number of categories a business can enter but don’t forget – entries close at midnight on 17 February. Find out more.
The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years.
It is compiled by Fast Track and published in The Sunday Times each December, with an awards event the following May, and alumni dinners during the year. View Criteria.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:
- international trade
- sustainable development
- promoting opportunity through social mobility
If you win you’ll be:
- invited to a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Her Majesty The Queen
- presented the award at your company by one of The Queen’s representatives, a Lord-Lieutenant
- able to fly The Queen’s Award flag at your main office, and use the emblem on your marketing materials (for example, on your packaging, advertisements, stationery and website)
- given a Grant of Appointment and a commemorative crystal bowl
The awards are valid for 5 years. Winners have reported benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale. Read more.
Created by Real Business, headlined by Amazon and supported by the CBI, the Amazon Growing Business Awards are amgonst the UK’s most established and respected recognition of SME and entrepreneurial success. Past winners have included Zopa and Tangle Teezer. Read more.
The Black British Business Awards is the only premium awards programme that recognises, rewards and celebrates exceptional performance and outstanding achievements of black people in businesses operating in Great Britain. The awards aim to further promote a good understanding of the economic contributions and potential of the Black community within the workforce, in the Boardroom, and as a key customer segment. Supported and endorsed by prominent business leaders and government leaders, the BBBAwards uncover inspirational role models; ambassadors who represent the very best talent in organisations across various sectors in the British economy. Find out more.
THE Asian Business Awards, which celebrate the successes of entrepreneurs from the community highlight deserving Asian businesses and the ceremony will be held on Friday, 17th March, in Central London. This year’s nominations are now closed, but this is one for the diary for next year if you know of worthy businesses. Read more.
Nominations have now closed for this year’s applicants, however, if you’re aged 16-30, based in the UK, have been trading for less than 12 months and have an ‘innovative business solution that meets the energy and resource needs of a growing population’ you should enter the monthly £5,000 Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Awards competition. As one of the UK’s longest running youth enterprise schemes, Shell LiveWIRE is highly regarded in the start-up and media world and can open doors for you and your business. Find out more.