We would like to encourage as many Sandwell businesses as possible to apply for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2022 round – and that includes you!
With Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee taking place next year, now more than ever is the time for your business to be recognised for its achievements.
The Queen’s Awards are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses and a Royal endorsement that winners tell us gets their business noticed, above and beyond the competition, both at home and overseas. Other benefits which winners have reported are as follows:
- excellent marketing opportunities and press coverage.
- worldwide recognition as an outstanding British company
- increased turnover and international trade
- a boost to staff morale, and also to partners and stakeholders
The Award scheme has four categories:
- Innovation which recognises businesses who demonstrate strong commercially successful innovative products or services.
- Sustainable Development, whose winners demonstrate sustainable products, services, or interventions for more than two years and can provide evidence of the benefits or positive outcomes of their actions and practices. In 2020, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales recorded a video message to support the refocus of this award and to explain why he takes a close personal interest in the Awards.
- International Trade which recognises businesses who have demonstrated substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success within their sector.
- Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility) – which recognises and rewards those providing high quality social mobility initiatives and programmes that specifically reach out to and support people from disadvantaged backgrounds, in order to inspire and guide the best talent into their organisation and beyond.
This Award was refocused last year, to allow for:
- Organisations with social mobility as a core aim to apply
- Organisations who do not have social mobility as a business wide objective but have a programme that supports it to apply.
Each Award category has its own additional eligibility criteria. A full list of the eligibility criteria can be found here
Winners are permitted to use the recognised Royal Emblem for five years. The Award is presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant at their premises which is a great opportunity to gain press coverage and celebrate together with their employees, local MP, local authority representatives, supply chain and other stakeholders. Winners will also be invited to a celebratory Royal reception.
The QAE are national awards and offer local and global recognition for business. Winners say that the Awards are now more important than ever as the Emblem is a royal seal of approval which helps them to compete on the world stage with much larger companies. It also offers winners an opportunity to connect with and do business with other winners and help and assist other companies.
We appreciate that businesses may have been affected in many shapes and forms by things such as Brexit and Covid-19. Therefore, during these uncertain times, it is important to ensure we still celebrate British businesses. To support this, there have been some positive amendments to the application process to ensure applicants are able to provide appropriate evidence to support their application.
For the 2022 round, the eligibility criteria remains unchanged. However;
- Applicants can manually input financial years figures, enabling them to wind back a year if their last financial year has been affected by Covid-19, storms, or flooding. For example, an International Trade applicant whose sales were badly affected in 2020, could provide figures for 2015 – 2019, rather than up to 2016 – 2020. Alternatively, they may prefer to submit figures over a shorter period of time. i.e., three years instead of six for International Trade and two years rather than five for Innovation.
- Greater discretion will also be granted to assessors to evaluate commercial success. They will also take into account sector specific effects of the pandemic and will not compare one application against another. It is important for us to still see the trends and patterns of each business’ commercial success, to see how well they performed before these challenging times.
This year, over 90% of winners were SMEs, with 44 businesses having 10 employees or less. The Awards are a self-nominating process and are free to enter, so to apply please go to Gov.uk.
The applications for the next round are now open and will close on the Wednesday 8 of September 2021.
Should you require any support or assistance, please have a look at the fantastic ‘toolkit’ that Sandwell Business Ambassadors have on their website or you can contact the West Midlands Lieutenancy office.
You can also download this really useful QA Leaflet.