PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
BLACK COUNTRY BUSINESSES URGED TO ENTER FOR QUEEN’S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have opened for 2021 entries and the Sandwell Business Ambassadors are urging Black Country businesses to apply.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are given for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility. Even in smooth trading times, winning a Queen’s Award can be transformative for a business. During this crisis, it could be more valuable than ever.
The awards take place annually and are presented at your company by a Lord Lieutenant, one of the Queen’s representatives. Winners also get invited to a royal reception. They are allowed to fly the Queen’s Awards flag at their main offices and use the official emblem on their marketing materials.
Winning companies receive a Grant of Appointment (an official certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy, as well as benefiting from press coverage and a boost in credibility with customers and suppliers, often leading to an increase in business. The awards are judged to a demanding level and are valid for five years.
A winner of no less than three Queen’s Awards since 2007, Fortress Interlocks, was awarded its third Queen’s Award for International Trade, in August 2018, recognising outstanding growth in overseas sales for the preceding three years.
The third award came after overseas sales for the Wolverhampton based company leapt from £11.7m to £18.2m in three years as overseas sales grew to 80 per cent of its business thanks to growth in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific region.
Modest West Midlands?
Sandwell Business Ambassadors, a collective of business leaders in the region, point out that although businesses in the West Midlands have previously been under-represented among winners of the award, that’s definitely not down to a lack of talent. They say it is now time for Black Country businesses to put modesty aside and apply for one of these prestigious awards.
Sandwell Business Ambassador John Wood is Group Director for Liberty Engineering and Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands, he gave Prosper his top tips for entering the awards and compiling a winning entry:
Be prepared to put time, effort and careful planning into your application.
Understand your business and its markets – use existing information such as mission statements and budgets.
Apply a VIVA approach: vision, innovation, values, achievements.
Be clear, concise and accurate in your application. Be passionate but back up your claims with evidence.
Have someone external to the process check your submission.
John told Prosper, “Although we are currently in the middle of a crisis, life will get better and this award could help your business to recover. Even in normal circumstances, winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise inevitably brings a company great publicity and raises its profile. An award of this calibre establishes credibility and boosts a company’s reputation with its customers, prospects and suppliers.
"On top of all that, a Queen’s Award boosts staff morale as it is a recognition of their achievements, hard work and expertise.”