February 22nd

Awards entries open

for submission

June 1st

Awards entries

close

June/July

Awards judging

process takes place

August 24th

Awards finalists

publicly announced

September 26th

The Awards take place

at Ashton Gate

Award Categories

Do you own or manage an exceptional business? Have you launched an innovative product or service, or ran a successful marketing campaign? Maybe you’ve committed to sustainability, or have just launched a start-up business?

As a Business Leader Award winner, you can elevate your business, propel your brand, and gain high profile recognition of your achievements for you and your team. You will stand out from the competition, attract new customers and gain the respect of your industry and peers.

The Business Leader Awards are free to enter and you can enter as many categories as you like. Entry is open to businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations that are based in the South West. Please refer to the Award Entry Guidelines for each category.

Business in the Community


Sponsored by Bristol Audi on demand
This award is open to businesses or social enterprises that have made a significant positive impact on the community and region they operate in.

To enter, you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that shows how you have organised or been involved in the following initiatives – through your business – or structured the business to have community at its heart.

  • Programmes, events or projects with not-for-profit social objectives
  • An innovative approach to the way the business puts community interests at its core
  • Activities that stimulate interest in the arts, community engagement, encourage enterprise or raise aspirations


Enter this award

Green Business of the Year


Sponsored by HSBC
This award is open to companies that can demonstrate a successful commitment to managing their social, environmental and financial obligations. They will have put sustainability at the core of their business.

The award is open to businesses operating in the low carbon economy, or those outside it running green programmes, or have launched a sustainable product or initiative.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that demonstrates the following points to the judges.

  • Ethical leadership and stakeholder engagement
  • Clear environmental management systems
  • Overview of the sustainable impact your business, product or initiative has had on the environment, community or business world


Enter this award

Innovation & Technology Award


Sponsored by BDO
This award is for a company which has a product or service innovation that has led to commercial success or had a significant impact. It is open to ‘tech’ companies operating across verticals such as AI, FinTech & robotics, or companies in other sectors who have used technology to innovate in their business.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives the following information about the following points:

  • The journey that led to the development of your innovation, including details of research
  • The benefits and impact of your product or service to the users
  • Details of patents, copyright or trademarks if applicable
  • The commercial success and financial performance of the product or innovation
  • The measurable impact the technology/innovation is having or will have


Enter this award

Available to sponsor

Customer Excellence Award


Available to sponsor
This award is open to outstanding customer champions – businesses that operate customer-centric organisations where the customer is truly king. It is open to businesses operating in any sector.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Methods used to monitor customer satisfaction levels
  • How you empower your employees to ‘delight’ your customers
  • Employee training procedures to enhance customer satisfaction levels
  • Resources and tools implemented to support customers out-of-hours
  • Your process for customer returns, complaints and follow-up


Enter this award

Export & International Business Award


Sponsored by Bristol Airport
This award is open to businesses that are trading internationally through selling a product or service overseas. Businesses operating in any sector can enter and will need to show commercial success and a clear plan to develop its international offering.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Outline of business strategy and objectives for international trade
  • Information about the overseas markets you operate in
  • Information around distribution channels/route to market
  • Barriers and obstacles, and how you overcame them
  • Financial impact of trading globally
  • Information about why you decided to trade internationally


Enter this award

Employer of the Year


Sponsored by Quantum Advisory
This award is for businesses that have created a stimulating and supportive work environment for their staff and demonstrated a commitment to their welfare. This will have resulted in high staff satisfaction levels and a well-motivated, ambitious and integrated workforce.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Your company’s leadership and management structure
  • A clear human resources policy that creates a stimulating and supportive workplace
  • Your company values and how employees are aligned with them
  • Initiatives in place to benefit employees
  • Staff retention and development
  • Initiatives to develop staff
  • Health and wellbeing schemes
  • How your company is aligning itself with evolving working practices
  • Commitment to inclusion and diversity throughout the business or organisation


Enter this award

Rising Star Award


Sponsored by Sounds Commercial
Open to business owners, professionals and talented managers, this award recognises a young business person under 35 years old that is showing extraordinary business talent. You will be able to demonstrate enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurial flair.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Launching or running a business with a proven record of growth, employment and financial success; or
  • A manager or professional with significant responsibility and measurable contribution to business growth; financial performance or the business community in the South West
  • Strong leadership and vision
  • A clear understanding of business and financial planning
  • Evidence of contribution to the community and business in your region


Enter this award

Entrepreneur of the Year


Sponsored by VWV
Judges will be looking for individuals who can demonstrate outstanding enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurial flair. This award is aimed at business leaders with exceptional vision and leadership, with a strong financial track record over the last three years.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Identification of a market opportunity
  • How resources and staff were applied to maximise the opportunity
  • Significant growth through new channels or innovative strategies
  • Managing major business change if relevant
  • Strong commercial performance and financial results


Enter this award

Start-Up Business Award


Sponsored by UWE Bristol
This award recognises new start-up businesses, under two years old, that have translated an idea into a successful business venture.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Market research including market size, customer profile and competitor analysis
  • A clear, innovative business idea backed by a sound business and marketing plan
  • On-target business and financial performance to date, and a healthy forward order book
  • Overview of how the business launched and why it is filling a gap in the market


Enter this award

Manufacturing Business of the Year


Sponsored by Womble Bond Dickinson
This award is open to manufacturers of all sizes in the South West, operating in any sector and in any part of the supply chain.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Overview of business and its sectors
  • Growth and financial performance
  • Examples of investment in new technology/factory
  • Information about any new product lines brought to market
  • Export strategy (if relevant)
  • Strategy for developing personnel and investing in apprentices (if relevant)
  • Commitment to innovation


Enter this award

Family Business Award


Sponsored by Albert Goodman
This award is open to a business operating in any sector – and of any size – that is family-owned and run by a member of the founding family.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Understanding of the history of the business and its family heritage
  • Growth and financial performance
  • Clearly defined management structure
  • Business plan to achieve growth going forward
  • Clear succession plan for future generations of the family or outside leadership
  • Commitment to corporate social responsibility


Enter this award

Become a sponsor

Corporate deal of the year


Available to sponsor
This award recognises the most important corporate deals across the Bristol City Region and South West. Open to MBO, MBI, M&A and Private Equity Deals of any size, entries are welcome from those involved in making the deal happen, including funders, advisors and professionals.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Background of the target business
  • Details of the acquiring business/new stakeholders
  • Those involved in putting the deal together
  • The value of the deal and importance to the region

Available to sponsor, call 0117 325 7779 to find out more

Enter this award

Business of the Year – 1-10 employees


Sponsored by Castle Business Finance
This award is open to a businesses employing up to 10 employees; and is open for businesses operating in any sector. The business will need to have its HQ in the South West.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • What makes your business stand out from the competition
  • Sustained year-on-year growth and profitability
  • Evidence of a strong business plan and future forecasts
  • Plans to develop staff

Enter this award

Sponsored by Business West

Business of the Year – 11-50 employees


Sponsored by Business West
This award is for businesses employing between 11 and 50 staff; and is open for businesses operating in any sector. The business will need to have its HQ in the South West.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Strong leadership and an entrepreneurial flair
  • An innovative business model with clear USPs
  • A clear focus on customer service/experience
  • Sustained year-on-year growth and profitability
  • Evidence of a strong business plan and future forecasts


Enter this award

Business of the Year – 51+ employees


Sponsored by Natwest
This award is for companies employing over 51 staff; and is open for businesses operating in any sector. The business will need to have its HQ in the South West.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Strong leadership and an entrepreneurial flair
  • A clearly defined management structure
  • Proven industry/sector leadership with strong USP’s
  • A commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Evidence of investment and Research & Development (R&D)
  • Solid growth and financial performance (EBITDA)

Enter this award

Available to sponsor

Advisory Firm of the Year


Available to sponsor
This award is open to any firm that actively supports or advises businesses – whether that be in a legal, insurance or accountancy context. The judges will be looking at the last twelve months of trading.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Overview of the firm, its structure and client base
  • Clear corporate social responsibility plan
  • Evidence of how the firm has gone over and above for clients
  • Evidence of commercial performance
  • Commitment to staff well-being and evidence of associated programmes

Available to sponsor, call 0117 325 7779 to find out more

Enter this award

Business Leader of the Year Award


Sponsored by BDO
This award will be given to an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to business and industry through years of dedication and hard work. A titan of the business world, this person has helped to create jobs, employment and growth and inspired others to follow suit. The winner of this award is a Business Leader of unparalleled influence.

To enter you will be required to submit an 800-word entry that gives judges information about the following points:

  • Information on how this individuals has supported the wider business environment (creating wealth and employment where appropriate)
  • Information on any business interests (companies launched/ non-exec roles)
  • Overview of any community or business activity that has resulted in a positive outcome
  • Vision for the future and plans to motivate staff/next generation of business leaders

Enter this award

Commercial Property Award


Sponsored by Shawbrook Bank
The Business Leader Commercial Property award is open to any agent, architect or developer that has been involved in the design, let or build of a significant residential or commercial project or building in the South West. This could be an industrial, urban, residential or regeneration project or space.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Landmark commercial office space lets
  • Major office, industrial, retail or other commercial new build of refurbishment projects
  • Innovative building designs
  • Schemes or projects that have made a positive impact on the region; and have sustainability in mind


Enter this award

The 2019 Business Leader Awards


The Business Leader Awards are free to enter and you can enter any number of awards. Entry is open to organisations where the principle activity or head office is based in Bristol, North Somerset or the LEP West of England catchment area. Please refer to the Award Entry Guidelines for each category.

If you have any questions regarding award entry, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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