Business awards recognise innovation, leadership and individual achievements by companies, entrepreneurs and others. Winning awards is also an important opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to market themselves. London has several major business award programmes. While some award programmes are sector specific, others are general awards that recognise achievements across industries.
FBS London Business Awards
The Federal of Small Businesses (FSB) bills itself as the UK’s leading business organisation. The non-profit body represents the interests of the self-employed and small business owners. It has more than 200,000 members and 194 branches across the United Kingdom.
Each year, the FSB stages its London Business Awards. The awards recognise achievements in a range of categories, including Best New Business, Young Person of the Year and Employee of the Year. Other awards celebrate business innovation, service excellence, training and development, enterprising business, and other areas. There is no charge for entering and entries are independently judged.
Prospects Business Awards
Prospects Business Support runs business awards programmes across London. The awards programme is accredited under the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative and the Mentors Me Project. The business awards are free to enter. In addition to organising its business awards, Prospects provides business clinics and workshops, reviews, coaching and consultancy. The business support programme is designed for start-ups as well as existing businesses.
The Prospects Business Awards celebrate dynamic and innovative businesses. Any business can enter the awards but must be located within the area of London in which the award programme covers. In addition to London, regional business awards are organised for Bexley, Bromley, Croydon and Sutton. Categories typically vary depending on the area of London. Categories include best small business, medium sized business and large business. The best green business and best new business are also awarded. Awards are also given for the best business for customer service, training and development, international trade, apprenticeships and employment for young people, and commitment to the community. Entrepreneurs of the Year are also named.
The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards celebrate corporate community involvement programmes that have been introduced by businesses and public bodies across London. The awards scheme encourages companies to play a leading role in building stronger communities and regenerating local areas of London. Founded in 1987, the awards also recognise achievements by public bodies and community organisations.
The annual Dragon Awards are open to businesses of all sizes from across Greater London. The awards ceremony is hosted by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House, where guests share experiences and learn from other businesses. Award categories include Education, Enterprise and Employment, Strengthening the Third Sector, Community Partners, Best New Community Programme, and Longstanding Achievement. Social enterprises, community organisations and schools are only eligible for the Community Partners Award. The remaining five categories are open to businesses and public bodies.
UCL Awards for Enterprise
The University College London (UCL) has organised the Awards for Enterprise since 2008. The awards scheme recognises the achievements of students, graduates and academic staff in promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship at UCL. Awards celebrate new business ideas developed by student and graduate entrepreneurs. They also recognise the entrepreneurial activities of staff and partnerships between the university and the broader business community.
Categories for the UCL Awards include the Business Award, Business One-to-Watch Award, Consultants Award, Spirit of Enterprise Award, and Best Impact by a Student Consultancy Project. Awards are also handed out for Best Mentor, Small and Medium Enterprise Partner of the Year, Corporate Enterprise Partner of the Year, Social Enterprise Project of the Year, Entrepreneurial Alumnus of the Year, and Knowledge Transfer Business of the Year.
The awards programme incorporates the London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Awards, which has been organised since 2003. These awards recognise achievements of participants in the London Entrepreneurs Challenge workshop programme and business plan competition. The UCL Awards for Enterprise also include the Bright Ideas Awards, which were established in 2008. The Bright Ideas Awards provide financial support for promising new businesses from UCL.
London Loves Excellence Awards
The London Loves Excellence Awards are presented by LondonLovesBusiness.com and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The awards programme recognises businesses with a significant presence in London, the South East or the Home Counties. Business must have a turnover of over £5 million in the preceding financial year in order to be eligible. Individuals entering in entrepreneur award categories must have founded or co-founded and continue to lead a businesses with the same geographic and financial criteria.
Awards for individuals include Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year for individuals aged 30 or under, and Apprentice of the Year. Seven award categories are open to businesses based on specific sectors, including Business and Financial Services, Creative Industries, Manufacturing, Engineering and Infrastructure, Property and Transport, Retail, Technology and Telecoms, and Tourism and Leisure. For company awards, judges consider achievement in leadership, technology and innovation, customer service and internationalism, as well as sustainability, ethics and values.