Vendor categories (for Businesses of any size with products/services aimed at smes)
Accountancy Software Provider of the Year
This category will recognise the accountancy software provider that best suits the needs of SMEs, with the judges considering level of innovation, impressive customer care, value for money, and a product that best assists small companies with managing their finances.
Accounts and Tax Adviser of the Year
The judges will look for the accountancy/tax advisory firm that has gone the furthest to target and help smaller companies, with quality of client service, value for money and SME-focused initiatives being prime considerations.
Alternative Finance Provider of the Year
The judges will assess online finance providers such as crowdfunding sites and peer-to-peer lenders. They will look for the operators most notable in financing small companies, considering factors such as volume of funds provided, innovative services and a dedicated SME offering.
Business Bank Account of the Year
For this category, the judges will look for the banking operator with the best business bank accounts for smaller companies, taking into consideration the quality of customer service and SME-focused initiatives.
Business Lender of the Year
This award recognises the lending institution, whether a bank or solely online provider, that has best addressed the needs of smaller businesses, with the judges considering factors such as access to and supply of debt, customer service and SME-focused initiatives
Insurance Provider of the Year
This category will recognise the insurance provider that best addresses the needs of SMEs, with the judges considering quality of service, value for money and breadth of cover.
Technology Provider of the Year
This category rewards the technology provider that has placed an SME service at the heart of its offering, displaying innovation, impressive customer care and a product to help small companies run efficiently and grow
Workspace Provider of the Year
Quality of facilities, location(s), technology-enabling capabilities and value for money will be the key factors discussed, as well as the workspace provider’s overall influence on the SME ecosystem.
Business categories (for businesses with less than 50 total staff)
The Better Business Award
Open to companies that have implemented procedures to ensure that they operate more efficiently, for example through the use of computer software or technology that improves product design. Judges will consider technology employed and evidence of success in improving business procedures.
The Third Age Business Award
Open to companies that have been set up in retirement. You may have spent all your working life in one industry then set up your dream business in retirement. Judges will look at aspects such as what factors led to setting up the business in retirement, challenges faced and evidence of success
The Sustainable Business Practice Award
Open to companies who have put in place strategies to ensure that they are setting up a business with a view to ensure more efficient use of our planet. This could be from ensuring the provenance of supplies and suppliers, solutions to waste to reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Judges will look at the level of sustainability, how it is monitored and levels of success.
Female Business Owner Award
Open to companies that have been set up by women. Judges will assess any unique aspects of the business, why it was set up, challenges faced and any gender specific elements that have improved success.
The Work/Life Balance Award
Open to companies who have made efforts to ensure that staff have a better work/life balance through more flexible working options, parental or carers leave, or are encouraging better mental health programmes and support. Judges will look at the policies put in place, take up, and how it is improving well being, as well as overall impact on the company.
The BAME Business Award
Open to companies that have been set up by black, asian or minority ethnic or culturally diverse business owners. Judges will assess any unique aspects of the business, why it was set up, challenges faced and what ethnic and cultural elements have improved success.
Most Innovative Business Idea
Open to companies who feel they have a product or service that has helped change the business sector they are involved in. This could be by providing a unique solution to problem; a service that has helped eliminate or reduce timescales and bureaucracy or simply a product or service that currently has no or little competition. Judges will consider the role of the product or service, its impact and evidence of success.
E-commerce Platform of the Year
Open to companies who feel their e-commerce platform offers a leading edge e-commerce solution. Judges will assess content, ease of use, unique facilities, level of customer interaction and service.
Young Business Owner of the Year
Open to all companies that have been set up by someone aged 25 or less as at 1st October 2019. Judges will assess business idea, challenges faced and levels of success.
Business Advocate of the Year
Open to business owners who have gone above and beyond to promote their sector or industry. Judges will pay attention to level of engagement on a range of issues, interaction with national and international organisations as well as impact made.