Former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable, former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and 2014 Apprentice winner Mark Wright have been named among the judges for a new awards scheme specifically for small and micro-businesses around the UK.
The Small Awards offers ten categories for small businesses across multiple sectors and areas of activity, including high street businesses, family businesses, start-ups and business-to-business companies, as well as those that export, and even companies that contribute most to their community. One of the individual category winners will then be named overall Small Business of the Year.
Entries are open until March 31. Entrants will be shortlisted with judging completed ahead of the awards ceremony itself towards the end of May.
Cable said: “The UK has a great track record in enabling fantastic small businesses to grow and develop, whether they are traditional or family-owned businesses at the heart of their particular areas, or those with the potential for high growth and innovation. I think we are going to be able to recognise some great examples of Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit and some businesses that will set an example that others can follow.”
2014 Apprentice winner Mark Wright, who now runs SEO and PPC agency Climb Online, added: “The Small Awards provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the UK’s growing small business sector, and I am delighted to be taking part as a judge. I am in no doubt that I am going to be impressed though competition will be tough….so watch this space!”
Vaizey said: “Small businesses by their very nature are dynamic, innovative, flexible and creative in the way they work, providing the cornerstone for many local communities and economies up and down the country. I’m excited to uncover some stories that will both help us celebrate some great small companies and which provide encouragement and inspiration for others."
Small Awards director Michelle Ovens concluded: “We established the Small Awards to focus on businesses that are often overlooked by other awards. There are huge numbers of small businesses doing great things that may not be recognised by other awards due to geography, scale or even awareness of the benefits such awards can bring. We want to shine a light on those businesses.”
The full list of categories is:
· High Street Hero - Best high street business
· Bricks and Clicks Award - Best multi-channel small business
· Legacy Award -Best family business
· Supply Chain Champion - Best B2B business
· Home And Away - Best exporting business
· New Kid On The Block - Best business start-up (less than 18 months)
· Digital Star - Best digital only business
· Marketing Genius - Best marketing campaign
· Heart Of Gold - The business that contributes most to its community
· At Your Service - Best small service business
· The Beat Goes On Award - Best use of music in a business
For further information visit thesmallawards.uk