Awards night Tuesday 14th November Grosvenor House, London


The Small Business of the Year Award


There are over 5.5 million small businesses in the UK, which employ nearly 13 million people and generate £1.6 trillion in revenue (GOV.UK) so play a vitally important role in both national and local economies. Despite the impact of the pandemic and acute talent shortages, many small businesses have not only demonstrated their resilience but innovation and customer engagement to succeed over the last year.

Celebrating the contribution of Small Businesses to the UK economy, this award recognises exemplary firms that have sustained growth, adapted to the changing expectations of customers and the evolving workforce, demonstrated  effective leadership, and are continually innovating to succeed.

Open to all organisations with up to £5m turnover in their last financial year, this Award will go to the company that best demonstrates the following:

  • Strong growth & resilience
  • Plan for sustained growth
  • Innovation in products, services or processes
  • Optimisation of technology & communication
  • Customer and staff engagement
  • Effective leadership and management
  • An ethical approach to business
  • Strong business results


In this category judges will compare the extent to which each candidate has demonstrated excellence in the following areas:

  • Employee & Customer Engagement 
  • Leadership & Innovation
  • Organisational Ethics & Policies
  • Financial Performance & Growth


20% Employee, 30% Leadership, 25% Organisational, 25% Financial


In a summary of no more than 350 words, please describe what your business does, the market in which it operates and what differentiates you from your competitors. Please include your key business achievements that are significant for your market sector or industry. (Please note that should you become a finalist the answer to this question will be used in external PR & Communications to explain who you are)

In no more than 1200 words, explain why you should win this award using the bullet points below as a guide:

  • Employee & Customer Engagement 20%
    • Evidence of how staff have been attracted, retained, motivated and optimised to deliver growth objectives.
    • Provide brief case study examples of how effective your recruitment & talent strategy has been.
    • Provide case study examples and top line data to demonstrate how you have increased your customer base or market penetration over the last 18 months.
  • Leadership & Innovation 30%
    • Examples of significant innovations implemented within the business and how it has contributed to overall success.
    • How have you used pioneering technology, processes, platforms, data or automation in an innovative way? Demonstrate how have you optimised any of these, or innovated, to increase productivity or measurably improve service.
    • How has management structure and leadership philosophy improved employee performance?
  • Organisational Ethics & Policies 25%
    • How are ethical, environmental or social impact policies or initiatives aligned with your growth objectives?
    • How does your approach to diversity, equity and inclusion align with your overall ambition for the business?
    • Explain how your ethical or diversity policy or sustainability strategy has improved employee / customer attraction and retention.
  • Financial Performance & Growth 25%
    • Explain your key growth metrics, including financial targets, KPIs, timescales and overall ambitions plus examples of milestones and barriers/challenges that have been overcome. Growth metrics can include adoption, lead generation, client base, NPS scores, etc.
    • How do you benchmark against your peers in terms of sales, profitability or market share?
    • How has your company performed against your growth plan and what will help you to sustain future growth?
    • Show examples and/or case studies of what has supported, or will drive further, commercial success.