On top of the main prize of £25,000, five specialist awards are also up for grabs in the categories of customer service, entrepreneurial spirit, exporting, developing business relationships and the best business mail shot.
‘Awards schemes like this bring out the best in the small business community,’ believes Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop. ‘Not only does it showcase enterprising and creative businesses, it allows them to share experience and learning in a competitive and friendly manner. Whilst winning the awards is financially rewarding, it also brings with it confidence and kudos which can help small businesses thrive and grow.’
Last year’s winner was Sheffield-based Blue Chip Feed, which created a niche market in scientifically enhanced horse feed and grew the business to enjoy a 55% share of that market. Blue Chip Feed now exports to numerous countries worldwide and sponsors equestrian sporting events across the country. ‘It is fantastic for everyone associated with the company to receive this award in recognition of all their hard work,’ said founder Clare Blaskey.
‘Successful businesses regularly assess themselves and entering an award scheme is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of this,’ explains Professor Ted Fuller from the University of Teesside Business School, who is chairing the judging panel. ‘Not only are the awards a chance to win prize money but it can identify areas where businesses need to develop.’
The awards are free to enter and to qualify a company must be:
- Independently owned and UK based
- Employ 30 people or fewer (full time equivalent)
- Have a turnover of Â£60,000 + per year
- Have been established for at least two years as of 17 April 2005
More information is available at www.thesba.co.uk. The final deadline for completed entries is 1 August 2005.