Awards are given out by whole range of organisations from government agencies to private companies and though they are usually handed out for projects which have been completed some do involve work planned to commence in the near future. And while they probably shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to grants and soft loans they’re still a good source of support and opportunity for business.
Each award will have its own specific entry requirements and criteria but in virtually all cases businesses must show why they should be rewarded for their work over the past year. These could be worthy for a number of reason such as developing and training staff to overcoming setbacks and difficulties.
Often the major schemes, such as Shell LiveWire and Ernst & Young’s entrepreneur of the year, have regional heats, though still with significant rewards, before leading to an overall final. And unlike grants and loans, award schemes tend not to favour one particular sector and often make an effort to encapsulate all types of firms.
In most cases it will be the business which will nominate itself for an award and only in the minority of instances the organisation offering the prize pick the nominations. Most are free to enter and require only a little application so what are you waiting for!
Here are just some of the award schemes available
Shell LiveWire awards
National Business awards
Parcelforce Small Business Awards
Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative
Orange Small is Beautiful Awards
Franchisor of the Year
HSBC Startup Stars
Business in the Community Award for Excellence
Queens Awards for Enterprise
British Small Business Champion
National entrepreneur of the year award