Achieving excellence in business is no mean feat irrespective of size, sector, length of trading, or market conditions. Especially during the past year, one of the hardest on record for both the economy and for us as individuals. And now, with the world slowly emerging from a pandemic unprecedented in economic impact and consequence, it is a time for recovery and recognition of beating the odds, facing the challenges, and emerging resilient.
This is the premise and motivation behind the launch of the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards (BBEA) – an elite new programme aimed at showcasing the best of the UK’s business persistence, innovation, entrepreneurship and determination. Designed to recognise the potential that exists within leaders of the UK’s established enterprises, most promising start-ups and new SMEs, the awards are open to all UK-based businesses which have demonstrated successful new initiatives, community contributions, leadership, innovation ethical practices, financial performance and growth.
The awards are the creation of founder Sarah Austin, who launched her own business, Sarah Austin Events, during the pandemic. Setting up her company in challenging times prompted a strong belief in the benefits of an awards programme – and builds a direct connection with the businesses that will enter.
Sponsored by Lloyds Bank, the awards programme will culminate in a prestigious ceremony for all finalists live at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on November 9, 2021.
Entries are open until June 25, with 12 unique categories from which to choose.
1: Business Enabler of the Year Award – for recognising the impact of ‘enablers’ that offer value beyond products, infrastructure and services.
2: Employer of the Year – for going the extra mile in the past year to support not only their employees but also the communities in which they operate.
3: Lloyds Bank Positive Social & Sustainable Impact Award – for addressing social challenges and improving the communities in which they operate.
4: New Entrepreneur of the Year Award – demonstrating potential as one of the UK’s most promising start-ups or new SME within the last 18 months.
5: Lloyds Bank New Business of the Year Award – for exceeding initial targets for growth and already showing importance within their sector within the last three years.
6: Exporter of the Year Award – for achieving the highest and most sustainable levels of international growth through export.
7: Lloyds Bank Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year Award – for significant contribution as an SME to the UK economy.
8: Scale-Up Business of the Year Award – for showing market leading increase in sales, headcount, profitability, market share or geographical expansion in recent years.
9: LDC Entrepreneur of the Year Award – for achieving sustained levels of growth and strong financial performance through a culture of innovation, resilience and leadership.
10: Lloyds Bank Mid-Market Business of the Year Award – for demonstrating exceptional financial returns, strong growth and innovation strategies, and market prominence with a turnover of £25m +.
11: Technology Innovation Award – for empowering and enabling people to thrive in a digital world through innovation and UK technology.
12: Purpose Before Profit Award – for refocussing attention away from day-to-day operations to provide essential supplies, or services throughout Covid-19.Enter Here
Why awards now?
While many have struggled to stay afloat, with some businesses disappearing altogether – it is evident a strong belief in business recovery post-pandemic is already driving innovation and new entrepreneurship. This bounce-back culture is also recharging established businesses. But why a raft of new awards at this critical moment in the economy? The founder and sponsors believe national public recognition through the BBEA is a way to enhance emergence and motivate positivity. They see this new, differentiating and high-profile event as a way to identify – and celebrate – the qualities of tenacity, innovation and creativity in UK businesses.
Apart from the chance of winning, entrants will have the opportunity to enhance their national profile, win brand exposure, showcase their USPs and motivate their teams. They will also be able to draw on expert advice and feedback from top business leaders who make up the judging panel, chosen on their specific merits to the industry and their specialism for each category, and from the BBEA Advisory Board.
Sarah Austin, says she recognised the way business opportunities are procured were changing in 2021 – and that “people buy into people now more than ever”. She saw a gap in the market for a high-profile business awards programme and says launching the Awards threw her into action to start standing up for her beliefs which brought her own business success in the events world. These are resilience, innovation, sustainability, diversity, equality and celebrating excellence – the very terminology around which the BBEA are based.