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While we all know that it’s not only about winning, sometimes it’s nice to feel like your business is succeeding. Nominating your business for an award can be a great reassurance that your business is doing well – but there are other benefits too.
From a reignited passion for what you do, to added publicity, to the possibility of a prize, keep reading to see the top 10 small business awards in the UK – and how you can apply.
From industry-specific awards to prizes for innovation and diversity, we’ve listed ten awards for business you can apply for this year.
The Small Awards celebrate small businesses in a whole range of categories, so you can enter for an award that best highlights your achievements. Whether you’re a shop on the high street or a fully online business, a sole trader or a business who cares about sustainability, you know you’ll be competing to your strengths.
And if you’re feeling confident, why not apply for the coveted Small Business of the Year Award for the best overall small business?
Your business will be judged on your business performance, as well as strong community engagement, and specific criteria related to your chosen award. If you become a finalist, you’ll be invited to a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony to network and celebrate with a community of small business owners from across the country.
Celebrating the best of British small business, this awards ceremony has categories not only for specific sectors such as retail and marketing – but also celebrates the Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority Business of the Year and Women-Led Business of the Year.
The event is sponsored by a range of established businesses and invites non-nominees to attend the event – creating excellent networking opportunities. The British Business Awards often receives news and social media coverage, creating even more reach for your small business.
Rather than celebrating business outputs, Great Place To Work recognises something equally as important: workplace culture. Whilst not a traditional award, you can apply for a Great Place to Work Certification – giving you a logo (and bragging rights) to use in your recruitment.
If you get selected for this certification, you’re then in the running to get on the Best Workplaces™ Programme – which selects the companies with the best workplace culture and celebrates them in a data-led report.
The Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards has a variety of categories you can apply for depending on your business goals. With more general awards for mid-sized businesses and those in the tech industry, you can also be nominated for awards celebrating growth, innovation, and leadership.
There are individual awards for each category, with judges chosen for their knowledge and specialism in that area. Whether or not you’re nominated for an award, you’re invited to join a variety of webinars run by the organisation – on everything from diversity in business to advice on writing award ceremony entries.
Run by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the SME London Business Awards is designed for small businesses in the region. You’re able to enter three different award categories, which celebrate corporate responsibility, employer of the year, and family business.
These awards have strong marketing and PR opportunities available to nominees – so it’s a great opportunity for local businesses to get involved.
Created especially for eCommerce businesses, you can nominate your business for an award related to your industry – such as fashion or food and drink – as well as even more detailed categories including:
The awards are open to brands, agencies, and businesses that work within the eCommerce sector. Finalists will be invited to an awards dinner to meet and network with other professionals – and just maybe win an award.
If your business prides itself on pushing boundaries and trying new things, the Innovation Awards could be for you. The judging criteria for these awards is all about how your business innovates – whether that be in a particular sector like tech or engineering or for female, male, and young innovators.
The awards also celebrate thought leaders and innovation champions with individual awards for these inspirational people.
Women in business have a very different experience than men do, which is why the National Business Women’s Awards helps highlight and celebrate women and their achievements.
With local awards for each part of the UK, you can also be nominated for awards in social impact, STEM, and community championship – as well as the coveted lifetime achievement award for those who’ve helped other women flourish in business.
Whilst not a traditional award, tradespeople can join the Checkatrade Hall of Fame by receiving high ratings and reviews on Checkatrade. It’s already important to encourage your customers to leave a good review as they can help you find more customers and retain existing ones – and now, help you win awards.
This highly-regarded accreditation can be added to your website or marketing materials, as well as posted about on your social channels. You’ll also be featured on a round-up of the award winners on the Checkatrade website.
Business Boost celebrates UK small businesses – especially those looking for additional funding. Small businesses are invited to enter the award, which is judged by a panel of business experts, for the chance to win a £25,000 grant.
There is only one category so you’re able to enter no matter what industry you work in. You can sign up here to be the first to know when entries open.
Once you’ve found an award that suits your business goals and celebrates what you do well, you’ll need to enter. Check out our guide on how to write a winning entry to make sure you’re hitting all the key points.
Have you ever won a business award? Let us know how it went in the comments below.
Rosanna Parrish is a Copywriter at Simply Business, specialising in legal and HR content. Trained at London College of Communication, she has been creating content professionally for eight years at publications across the UK and Spain. Starting her career in health insurance, she also worked in education marketing before returning to the insurance world. Rosanna also writes about wellbeing in the workplace. She lives by the sea and does her best writing in coffee shops.
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