Award Categories

The following categories are open to private, public and charity sector organisations of all sizes.

Please provide a written submission of up to 1000 words explaining why you should win along with any relevant supporting information. You may enter up to 5 categories maximum.

We deliberately do not have rigid category descriptions as this would only serve to stifle business excellence. The purpose of each category below is therefore simply to provide a loose framework for your entry. You are free to interpret each category as you wish – your challenge is to wow the judges with a story about why you stand out from the rest.

Entrants compete against organisations based in the same country. Therefore be sure to specify in which country your principal office is based when applying.

Below are a few tips and hints to help you when writing your entry

When reading an entry, the judges consider various elements that need to be included. You do, of course, need to take in to account the category you are entering and only apply the points that are applicable to your case.  Explain how your business has demonstrated success by including the following: 

  • financial results 
  • customer & employee benefits 
  • community benefits 
  • investor benefits 

Clearly state success measures and try not to leave any gaps in your data (i.e. don’t cherry pick which figures/stats you provide as the judges won’t have the full picture).

Explain how and why you identified a need for your product/service/change/initiative and what planning/development went in to it. 

Highlight the market reaction e.g. press coverage, customer feedback, industry awards and anything else you may think is relevant. 

Provide projections for future market share, distribution and sales volumes. 


Tell us how you achieved fantastic marketing results and what sets you apart from your competitors. How has your work benefited your clients? What were the objectives and how did you perform? Open to all organisations across the private and public sector of any size as well as agencies.

Outstanding App

There are thousands of apps, but only those that offer a unique service and target new customers with the creative use of smart digital technology are the ones that stand out from the crowd. If you have developed a mobile app that has broken through the technology barriers and created a new, attractive and original proposition for customers, then this is the right award for your business. Show us how the new app has transformed the business and attracted new clients, and include the significant financial benefits that have resulted.
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Outstanding Marketing Campaign

This award is for those who have managed a marketing campaign of any size. The emphasis is not about the extent of the campaign spend, but on meeting objectives and achieving results in terms of profit, sales, number of new customers, traffic to websites or an increase in brand awareness. The judges are looking for slick marketing campaigns that show clarity of thought, measurable targeted outcomes, innovation in choice of channels, and brilliant outcomes linked to the overall business strategy. The entry must show planning and actions taken, from concept to execution, and how value for money was achieved.
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Outstanding Public Relations Campaign

We are looking for a stand-out PR campaign that has had outstanding results. The campaign can be of any size and focus, for example, was it designed to extend the organisation’s influence within the market, did the business need to promote something specific, such as a new greener approach, or maybe there was a need to highlight a recent charity initiative? Its success will have led to measurable and significant benefits to the business, and the judges want to see compelling evidence of how this was achieved.
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Outstanding Social Media Campaign

With an ever-widening range of media to choose from, social media campaigns are more complicated than ever before. Show us what your business has achieved with a recent and successful social media campaign. The judges would like to hear about the initial concept, through planning to delivery. How did you stand out from your competitors in engaging your consumers? What were the challenges you had to overcome to ensure success? Provide details of the costs involved, increase in sales and measurable outcomes. In what ways has the campaign informed future planning?
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Outstanding Website

Outstanding websites today are vital if a business is to succeed. The judges are looking for evidence of real innovation, ease of navigation and unique interactive services. If you recently launched a website with a fresh new design and functionality, this is your opportunity to explain what makes your website different. In what ways do you feel that your organisation’s website is exceptional in attracting new business and keeping existing clients? What are the key benefits of using your website, and how do they deliver a first class user experience? Information on customer feedback, traffic levels, sales information, media coverage and cost, and return on investment should be included.
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Our judges want to hear your journey, how have you got where you are today and where you are going? How have your skills benefited the organisation and its customers? What makes you stand out? What business challenges have you had to overcome? Open to individuals across the private and public sector.

International Business Influencer of the Year

It is one thing to follow and adhere to current policy; it is another to identify reasons for change, then to go further, developing concepts and introducing something that transforms the ways in which a particular sector functions. We want to know of influencers who have achieved a paradigm shift, resulting in international impact within their sector – those who have brought about seminal change and contributed significantly to how that sector operates globally. Tell us of your aims and ideas, and the ways in which you have had outstanding influence within the business world.
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International CEO of the Year

An outstanding CEO is someone with vision, who has demonstrated conviction in channelling the direction of their organisation on a global scale. They will have brought transparency to all levels of the business and shown decisiveness and accountability. Displaying an excellent knowledge of the market in which they operate, both nationally and internationally, they will have anticipated their organisation’s needs. Their innovative thinking, receptiveness and ability to adapt will have stimulated creativity among their colleagues and encouraged global expansion. An exceptional communicator, they will have developed a strong culture throughout their organisation, motivated their staff, and inspired trust in others. Evidence of success could include improvements in customer and workplace satisfaction, meeting stakeholders’ goals, an increase in revenue and global market share, and a strengthening of corporate social responsibilities and environmental aims.
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International Entrepreneur

This award is aimed at a dynamic leader who has used creativity and vision to develop an idea into a successful business. Entries must demonstrate product/service innovation, and steady growth of the enterprise in terms of staff members, customers and turnover.  The submission should include the entrepreneur’s background, how they spotted an opportunity and the challenges they overcame to develop this. What commercial strategy, distribution and financial evidence are in place, and what plans are there for the future?  Customer feedback and market reaction should be included.
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International Young Entrepreneur (under 35 years)

A successful entrepreneur will always be ahead of the curve, exploring opportunities and guiding businesses to excellent financial success. We want to know of entrepreneurs under the age of 35, who have achieved amazing results and had exceptional impact within the global marketplace. How have you realised such success and what has motivated you to pursue your career internationally? In what ways are you visionary? How did you spot a gap in the market? What have been the outstanding consequences of your work globally and how do you intend to take this to the next level?
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Outstanding Employee

Does your company have a star employee who shows great potential and has had a significant impact on the business or its workforce?  It could be a dynamic individual who has worked on a restructuring programme or new project, or perhaps someone who sees things differently and has used their ideas to change the fortunes of the company, or maybe a staff member who has made significant impact on the wellbeing of those who work there. Tell us their story, what makes them unique and their achievements and successes.
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Outstanding Executive

This is awarded to an exceptionally talented and intuitive executive who has produced great results. Entries must show individuality, a track record of excellence and of taking control and introducing new ways of working. These should include examples of exceptional staff management, teamwork, and of how challenges have been surmounted. The entry could be based on, for example, bringing in change across the organisation, introducing a new initiative or running a community or charity project. Benefits and outcomes must be clearly stated.
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Outstanding Mentor

Outstanding mentors have to ability to extract the best from those they support at whatever level they work. We want to hear of mentors who have made a significant and positive contribution to a business by the exceptional advice and encouragement they give; and of their mentees who, as a result, have subsequently flourished and gone on to achieve exceptionally in their career. What makes the mentor unique and why do they excel at what they do?
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Outstanding New Employee (employed less than 2 years)

New employees who outshine their peers, show exceptional talent, imagination and a grasp of business issues and problem solving skills are likely to attract the judges’ attention. This award is for a new employee, who in their first two years of working on a project or in a team, has produced outstanding results in the tasks they have undertaken. We want to hear of their innovation, clear thinking and new ways of resolving issues. How have they worked independently and with others? Do they act on their own initiative with confidence and display an excellent attitude?
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Outstanding Non-Executive Director

Operating independently, non-executive directors have a different perspective of a business and can provide great insight and originality. Their work can be invaluable as is their access to useful contacts. Entries should outline how a non-executive director has used their knowledge, skills and talents to overcome problems and changed the fortunes of a business. What characteristics have they shown in their management of the issues facing the business and how have they responded? What successes have been achieved through their interventions and what benefits have resulted?
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Outstanding Personal Achievement

Anyone in any role in an organisation can apply for this award as long as excellence, resilience, perseverance and commitment are demonstrated. This is for that special person who has excelled and gone above and beyond the expectations of their role. The focus should be on the issue, the tasks undertaken and the outcome and impact on the business and people around them. You need to explain what makes this person different, their unique approach to the job in hand, how they overcame challenges and their exceptional achievements.
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Outstanding Young Executive (under 35 years)

The judges are looking for a game-changer who has set the pace in an existing market or spotted a new market, improved services for customers or made use of technology in a new way not thought possible. He/she will have developed a keen sense of responsibility and the confidence to lead on projects, manage staff and overcome challenges. This award is for high flyers who already have a track record of outstanding achievement under their belt yet still have more to give.
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Do your teams play a key role in your success? Tell us how they excel and help the organisation to grow and meet its objectives. You can focus on the ways they work as team members, both as individuals and together, using their own ways of thinking, sharing new ideas, planning for and delivering results at an outstanding level. What makes this group of people special? Open to teams of two or more people across the private and public sector.

Outstanding Customer Service Team

All customers of any product and/or service need to be assured that their needs are going to be met, and any problems dealt with smoothly. We want to hear of customer service teams that understand the requirements of the client and work together to ensure that these are met in a consistent and effective manner. An efficient team will place emphasis on excellent communication, not only between the customer and the company, but within the team itself, and the training of each individual member will ensure a high level of competency. How does your customer service team collaborate, support each other and take responsibility? What outstanding results and high levels of customer satisfaction have they achieved?
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Outstanding Finance Team

This award is open to finance teams of any size, that work together cooperatively to support company objectives, promote excellent financial practices and enthusiastically embed new strategies. The judges’ focus will be on teamwork and the extent to which individual members collaborate to share knowledge and create new ways of working. Whether designing and/or implementing new systems, we want to hear of teams with an excellent financial knowledge and an understanding of others’ needs. Superb communication should be team-wide, with all members holding a significant and stimulating role. What has your finance team attained through outstanding teamwork?
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Outstanding HR Team

High performance teams are vital to a company’s success, and an outstanding HR team will generate ideas as individuals whilst working towards a common goal. It will ensure that other teams within the organisation are structured likewise, and will be looking for self-motivated team workers who bounce ideas off each other, seek ways in which they can take individual responsibility and collaborate in introducing change. We want to hear of your HR team’s understanding of how to achieve efficient teamwork throughout every aspect of your business, what action they take, how they support this, and their exceptional results.
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Outstanding IT Team

New technology can give an enterprise a competitive edge, helping it to attain a higher market share. The judges want to hear of IT teams who achieve technical innovation and work collectively to the maximum benefit of their organisation. What is it that makes your IT team exceptional in its approach to the demands placed upon it? How do team members flourish individually, and work together, creating and communicating their ideas in ways that ensure company objectives are met and exceptional outcomes achieved? Why is your IT team unique, and what keeps it at the cutting edge and what outcomes have resulted?
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Outstanding Marketing Team

This award is for the team that create new and exciting marketing solutions using their creativity, multi-media and original concepts. We want to hear from teams whose success has been due to outstanding teamwork and best practice. Submissions should include details of how individual members are given opportunities to use their own ways of thinking, share brilliant ideas, work collaboratively, meet corporate objectives and produce outstanding results. Impress the judges with details of how your marketing employees demonstrate teamwork to an exceptional standard, and of its achievements.
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Outstanding Public Relations Team

Tell us how your public relations team helps your business build positive relationships with all stakeholders and creates a strong brand image. Explain the background to the team’s achievements; give examples of objectives met, outcomes realised and how it adds value to the company. In what ways are individual team members provided with opportunities to be original in their approach, communicate their ideas and work together to achieve a common goal? Public relations are essential to a company’s success; explain how your PR team use exemplary practice to achieve premier status and reputation and what they have accomplished.
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Organisation Wide

What makes your business, product or service stand out? Tell us what you set out to achieve and how you have performed. What can your competitors learn from you? What are your staff, customers and the media saying about you? Where are you now and where do you want to be? Open to private and public sector organisations of any size.

Climate Action Award

This award will recognise companies that are using innovation to tackle climate change. We want to hear of the ground-breaking measures you have taken to become carbon neutral and the impact that this has had on your business. Tell the judges about your latest sustainable environment protection schemes involving energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and reducing the carbon footprint. How have you embedded a green ethos into your company culture? Demonstrate the steps you are taking now that will ensure your organisation continues to operate at the cutting edge of the green agenda in the future.
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Disruptor of the Year for Product/Service

A disruptor is a business that changes the conventional way an industry operates, especially by utilising new, efficient and inventive ways of running that business. Are you a disruptor in your industry? What, for example, are the new and original systems, methods and/or product/service that has enabled your company to disrupt the market and benefit from standing out from the crowd? Show us the impact that you have had, and how you intend to maintain this position in the future to ensure you remain at the cutting edge.
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Employer of the Year

Is your business the one in your sector that everyone wants to work for? Are your staff retention levels high? In what ways do you ensure you are attuned to the needs of your workforce and how does your company provide outstanding support? Tell the judges about new initiatives introduced, how you invest in staff, take on apprentices, have a strong equality, diversity and inclusion policy and have improved staff benefits. What exceptional systems do you have in place that nurture and safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff? What opportunities do they have to give feedback? Demonstrate the ways in which your company is the best place to work in relation to your size and sector.
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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award

The basic values of equality, diversity and inclusion within an organisation are considered fundamental to its operation, and to ensure that they are respected and affirmed they need to be embedded into every aspect of a company’s operation. What steps has your company taken to empower people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin? Tell us of specific practices that ensure all voices are heard, whether as direct/indirect employees of your organisation, or as clients/suppliers of your business? How do you meet individual needs and what procedures are in place for people to provide feedback?
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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative/Programme

We would like to know of a specific initiative or programme that your business has undertaken to advance the values of equality, diversity and inclusion. This could be, for example, a short-term programme to keep your staff updated and educated on the need for, and benefit of, equality, diversity and inclusion within the business, or a dynamic initiative such as a company-wide recruitment drive of people from a disadvantaged background, or those who have been unemployed long term. Tell us of how this project has emphasised these values and embodies the practices of the business in a global context.
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International Trade Award

Significant penetration into international markets is a huge challenge for many businesses, especially when considering the difficulties facing many companies during the pandemic and post-Brexit. To what extent are you a significant player in the international market relative to your size and sector? What important changes were necessary to gain traction, and how are you continuing to thrive? We want to hear of your success story and the impact it has had within your business sector. How do you plan to build and scale your business in the global marketplace?
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Outstanding Brand Development

Brand development ensures your business proposition remains fresh, appealing and well placed for future growth. Tell us how the development of your brand has had a direct impact on financial success, business growth and customer satisfaction. What steps have been taken to improve and strengthen your brand message, and what strategies are in place to futureproof your brand?
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Outstanding Business

Entries must demonstrate that the business is an excellent all-rounder with ready growth, a unique mission statement, a great product/service, creative marketing, and strong ethics throughout the organisation and the supply chain. Details of commitment to professionalism, equality and diversity, protecting the environment, valuing, developing and retaining staff, corporate social responsibility and building good relationships with suppliers and customers must be included. Tell us why your business stands head and shoulders above others.
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Outstanding Business Transformation

How did your business identify the need to change? What steps had to be taken and why, and how were the strategic goals identified and met? We want to hear details of how your business has gone through a successful transformative process and what tangible benefits have resulted, either in financial uplift, product improvement, customer benefit, or all these and more.
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Outstanding Community Initiative

Recognising businesses that give back to the community, this award is for companies that encourage staff to get involved in projects or partnerships outside of the workplace. It could be for work undertaken in the local community or at a national level. Entries should emphasise why the initiative was chosen, management involvement, resources allocated to the project, staff engagement, implementation, impact on the community and the business, and future plans.
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Outstanding Customer Service Initiative

Celebrating organisations that deliver outstanding service to their customers, entries must explain the background to the initiative and focus on the connection between excellent customer service, improved profitability and/or value to the bottom line. Tell us of the planning and development of the initiative, the market reaction and what was achieved. Feedback from customers must be included as evidence of how the service has improved.
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Outstanding Educational Initiative (Growth)

The success of any educational establishment relies directly upon its ability to attract and maintain a flourishing student population. All institutions plan for future growth through, for example, the expansion of facilities and extra-curricular offering, the introduction of new courses, opportunities for research, the development of high quality faculty, outstanding teaching resources and excellent student support. We want to hear of initiatives, of any size, that have resulted in an increase of student numbers through the creative use of financial expertise and application, cost-effective planning and successful marketing. Evidence must include measurable outcomes of excellent financial gain, the growth in popularity of the institution, and exceptional student achievement and wellbeing.
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Outstanding Educational Initiative (Teaching)

Aimed at educational institutions or organisations, who have introduced a new initiative that has met specific objectives and had amazing outcomes for those involved. This could apply to any department, at any level and targeting any age group, and entries for this award need to demonstrate changes which have led to motivated and engaged students. The judges want to hear what initiated the project, how it was conceived and what actions were taken. Alongside this, we would expect information about objectives, and how these were met, measurable outcomes, financial efficiency, and how this has had a transformational effect on those who have benefited from its introduction.
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Outstanding Ethical Supply Chain

The ethical responsibilities of a business apply to those employed by the organisation, but also to the key elements that make up the supply chain, for example, raw materials, components and labour. How does your business ensure that you source goods and/or services ethically? What principles do you adopt when conducting your business and how do these impact on the ethical choices you make and the practices you undertake? What forms of regulation do you have in place to guarantee that you maintain your ethical position?
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Outstanding Fast-Growth Business

Growth can result from the introduction of a unique new product, exploitation of a new market or because of improved sales methods. If your business has seen supersonic growth over the past few years in terms of turnover, product sales, distribution, overseas expansion and staff numbers, then this award will give it the recognition it deserves. Entries need to outline the background to the business, the reasons behind the growth, the impact this has had organisation wide, how growth is being managed and future plans. Figures to back up the claims should be included.
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Outstanding Finance Initiative

Money makes the world go round and if there is an easier, more efficient way to process it, the judges want to hear from you. This could be about the introduction of a new initiative to streamline financial processes or the implementation of new technology, but it is important that the entry shows cohesive team work, innovation, cost savings, measurable improvements in operations and strong leadership from the top. Benefits to the organisation and outcomes must be substantive and measurable.
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Outstanding HR Initiative

Far-reaching HR initiatives that motivate staff and save time can transform an organisation. Explain the background to your initiative, the challenges, what it involved, why it was needed and how it has changed the organisation. In particular, describe how the initiative has had an effect on working practices and the efficient operation of different departments within the company. Measurable results, including feedback from staff surveys, should be emphasised as well as the cost of the initiative and the return on investment.
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Outstanding Innovation

Has your business introduced an innovation that is a game-changer for the market, creating a new product or service or transformed the organisation and the way it works? If so, the judges are keen to hear about your story and the significant changes that have occurred. These will have had outstanding impact on those involved, whether customers or staff, and their effects will have been far-reaching and remarkable. Entrants must demonstrate the originality of the planning and creativity, and should also outline the setting, the meeting of objectives, measurable outcomes, feedback from those affected and impact in terms of future planning.
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Outstanding IT Initiative

Creative ideas and innovative solutions are those that stand out from the crowd. Whether for IT, websites, apps, inhouse systems, customer deliverables, inventions, innovation, sales or advertising, there is the opportunity for exceptional use of technology in businesses of all sizes across all sectors. Has your IT department (or outsourced IT team) supported the organisation to implement a new initiative, achieve more, reduce costs and make a groundbreaking impact in the marketplace? We want to hear of your project from inception to launch and of the resulting outstanding benefits to the business. Projects of any size and value can apply for this award.
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Outstanding New Product/Service (less than two years old)

This award is for organisations that have identified new products or services and successfully brought them to market. Show how a need/opening was recognised for this recent introduction, the planning stages, its development and targets for growth. Once the product/service was launched, how did demand grow and what benefits did the company enjoy, including increased turnover and a larger market share? What are the current aims for the product/service in terms of future expectations and what planning is in place to support this?
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Outstanding Product/Service

This award is aimed at organisations operating in the consumer or the business-to-business market that have significantly increased their sales and customer satisfaction potential. Does your business have a unique product and/or service that, since its launch, has been well received by the market place? Judges are interested in what makes the product/service special and why it maintains the popularity it enjoys. How has this product/service been adapted since its inception and why has it succeeded where others have failed? Tell us about the target market and growth in demand from customers, business objectives, estimated turnover and profitability expectations. What plans are in place to ensure continued dominance of the market?
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People Development Award

Good staff development is essential in any industry, and in all businesses both large, medium and small. Show us how your workforce benefits from an outstanding staff training and development programme, and how this has a positive impact on your business. What incentives are in place that encourage people to start and/or continue their development, both in their careers and personally? If opportunities for promotion are limited, how are individuals encouraged to progress their career? Do you have robust and effective procedures that regularly monitor staff training, and what opportunities are there for staff members to discuss their individual needs?
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Work-Life Balance Award

A healthy work–life balance is the cornerstone of every reputable business, and it is vital that this is embedded in the company culture. How is your company ethos communicated to your staff, and what top-down measures are embedded to ensure senior management lead by example? What working practices and programmes are in place to provide excellent working conditions for staff, and what positive impact have they brought to your business with regard to work-life balance?
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