Somerset businesses are being encouraged to set the standard by applying for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
The awards are given annually for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:
- International trade
- Sustainable development
- Promoting opportunity through social mobility
The online application process is quick and simple to follow and those who win are invited to a Royal reception and presented with their award by the Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Annie Maw.
Winners are also able to fly The Queen’s Awards flag at their main office and use the emblem on their marketing materials. They also receive an official certificate and a crystal trophy.
Past winners have reported benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale. Each award is valid for five year.
To be eligible, the business must be based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), file its Company Tax Returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management.
It must also have at least two full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents and be able to demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility.
In addition, each award category has its own additional entry criteria.
To apply for the International Trade award, you must also:
- Have made a minimum of £100,000 in overseas sales in the first year of your entry and show year-on-year growth
- Prove that your organisation has achieved outstanding growth in overseas earnings relative to your business size and sector
- Prove steep year-on-year growth (without dips) in overseas sales over 3 three years – or substantial year-on-year growth (without dips) over six years
To apply for the Innovation award, you must also:
- Have an innovation that has not been sold before
- Have had your innovation available on the market for at least two years
- Have recovered all the investments made in your innovation or show that the innovation will recover its full costs in future
- Show outstanding commercial success as a result of innovation over two years – or continuous commercial success over five years
- Your innovation should be in one of the following categories: invention, design or production of goods; performance of services; marketing and distribution; after-sale support of goods or services
To apply for the Sustainable Development award, you must also:
- Show how you have achieved outstanding sustainable development for more than two years
- Provide evidence of the benefits or positive outcomes of your actions or interventions
Promoting Opportunity Through Social Mobility
Applications for this award category will open at a later date.
Applications for all other categories must be submitted online by midday on September 9. More information is available from the helpline on 020 7215 6880, or to apply visit https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise.