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2024 Categories AND CRITERIA

Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority Business of the Year
This award recognises Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority owned SMEsthat have demonstrated a high degree of excellence, innovation, leadership and people first values. In their submission, nominees should not only demonstrate outstanding business achievements over the last 2-years, but also give examples on how they have set themselves up for future success through the transformation of the organisational makeup and culture or its client base. 
DEI Initiative of the Year

This award will be presented to an SMEs own internal initiative or employee network that has been created and had demonstrable success in improving the company culture, onboarding programs, development and/or progression of employees, and retention of underrepresented talent. This could include internships, training initiative and/or new company policies. Judges will assess commitment to the cause, the tangible impact on employees and the company, and the evidence-based results of the initiative. Submissions must include the name of the initiative or network at the start of the entry.

Entrepreneur of the Year (over 30)

This category is open to all entrepreneurs over 30 in 2024. Judges will be looking for a candidate that has demonstrated excellent growth in the last 2-years, with a coherent and sustainable strategy in achieving it. Judges will look at demonstrations of growth (turnover, profit, employees etc.), standout achievements and customer testimonials.

Entrepreneur of the Year (under 30)

An entrepreneur under the age of 30, or who turns 30 in 2024, that has established and shown exceptional growth in their business sector. Submissions must include examples of leadership, innovative product and/or services ideas, financial success and how they are excelling in their industry.

Health and Wellbeing Initiative of the Year

This award will be presented to a project or initiative that has had demonstrable success in improving the health and wellbeing of all its employees. This could include flexible policies, company benefits, innovative and inclusive team building/bonding initiatives, etc. Judges will assess commitment to the cause, impact on the employees and the company, and ultimate results of the initiative. Submissions should include the name of the initiative or project. 

Micro Business of the Year

This award recognises micro businesses that are still active today across sectors. Judges are looking for evidence of how the business grown organically, pivoted/transformed, supported staff and clients, and continued to be profitable. Please also include the lessons learned and how these have helped pave the way for a prosperous future. 

Fewer than 10 employees and turns over less than £1.8 million

Most Innovative Business Idea of the Year

This award recognises a product/service or company that has demonstrated outstanding innovation, customer wins and deployments in the last 2-years. Judges are looking for creative products/services/companies that have identified a gap in their markets and have delivered successfully. Please include examples of ROI achieved, success in challenging implementations, post-sales support and service, and tailored customisations in specific enterprise environments. 

Recruitment Advisor of the Year

This award recognises recruitment advisors/agencies/firms that focus and support recruitment into SME business. Judges will be looking for professionals/firms that can demonstrate exceptional support, tangible results and feedback from clients they have worked with. These should include examples of innovative recruitment strategies, best practice processes, inclusive candidate pools, placement success rates, and clear efforts to promote, support and place diverse and underrepresented talent.

Retail Business of the Year

This award recognises the outstanding achievements of retail businesses in the UK, celebrating their contributions to the industry and showcasing their successes. Judges will be looking for evidence of organisational growth and development over the last 2 years, a diverse product or service offering, testimonials, and challenges faced and overcome by the business. This award is open to all retail businesses, including brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and those that offer a combination of both. The focus is on businesses that have demonstrated resilience, creativity, and innovation in navigating the challenges of the retail industry. Submissions should highlight the unique qualities and impact of the business on the industry and the wider community.

Small Business Influencer of the Year

This award recognises an individual who has used content and their personal brand to effectively communicate and engage with the small business community – driving innovation and change and showcasing a wide-reaching impact on your audience. They’ll be able to demonstrate strategic thinking and creativity and will have tangible examples of their impact on the business landscape.

Small Business of the Year

This award recognises all SMEs that have demonstrated a high degree of excellence, innovation, leadership and people first values. In their submission, nominees should not only demonstrate outstanding business achievements over the last 2-years, but also give examples on how they have set themselves up for future success through the transformation of the organisational makeup and culture or its client base through the inclusion of all people.

Your company is considered a small business if it has any 2 of the following: a turnover of £10.2 million or less. £5.1 million or less on its balance sheet. 50 employees or less

SME Insurance Broker of the Year

This award recognises an insurance broker who has exceeded expectations in serving their SME clients. Judges will consider organisational growth, a diverse client portfolio, testimonials, and evidence of overcoming challenges faced by the company and clients. This award is a chance for smaller brokers to showcase their exceptional service, expertise, and commitment to their clients and receive recognition for their hard work and dedication. Please include in your submission evidence of challenges faced and overcome by the company and with clients. Maximum Gross Written Premium of the business of £10m Max.

SME Marketing Agency of the Year

This award recognises a marketing agency that has gone above and beyond to support SMEs to the highest degree. Judges will be looking for organisational growth and development over the last 2-years, and examples of a diverse customer portfolio, customer testimonials and their measure of success. Please include in your submission evidence of challenges faced and overcome by the company and with clients.

Start-up of the Year

This award recognises businesses that took a chance and launched in the last 2-years. Judges are looking for businesses that are prospering forward despite the tremendous adversity brought about by lingering impacts of COVID-19, Brexit, and the current economic instability. In your submission, please share your business idea, the opportunities and challenges, and your measures of success.

Sustainable Business Award of the Year

This award honours SMEs that demonstrate genuine and tangible efforts to improve the lives of others and the world around us. This is open to businesses who are operating in the sustainability sector or have made significant changes to their business to support others and the environment. It recognises corporate social responsibility, charity work or green and sustainability initiatives that are driven or implemented. Entries will be judged on their effectiveness, innovation and overall commitment to doing good. Entrants should reference how their efforts link to the UN Sustainability Goals, and which SDGs in particular.

Technology Provider of the Year

This award recognises a technology provider that has gone above and beyond to support SMEs to the highest degree. Judges will be looking for organisational growth and development over the last 2-years, and examples of a diverse customer portfolio, customer testimonials and their measure of success. Please include in your submission evidence of challenges faced and overcome by the company and with clients. This award to open to any business providing a technology solution to SMEs including point of sale, e-commerce, cloud computing, cyber security or CRM.

Women-Led Business of the Year

This award recognises the exceptional achievements of female entrepreneurs and business leaders in creating and growing successful businesses. The judges will be looking for evidence of organisational growth, a diverse customer base, testimonials, and challenges faced and overcome by the business leader over the last 2 years. This award is a celebration of the hard work, determination, and innovation of women in business and recognises their significant contributions to the UK economy.

Entries close: Friday 26 April 2024