Sentinel Business Awards categories 2013...
Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Stoke-on-Trent College)
This award recognises the practical and theoretical progress being made by young people in education and their places of work. Apprentices may be nominated by their employers or training providers, or they may put themselves forward. In the latter case their entry must be endorsed by their employers.
Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by Keele University Science and Business Park)
Open to all ages, this new award will go to someone who has had a big impact either running their own business or working as part of a team. The judges will be looking for someone to demonstrate how their actions/strategies have been instrumental to the success of their/the business along with evidence of a strong financial performance, including the clear identification of an opportunity that has had a measurable impact on the success of their/the business. Judges will reward enterprising behaviour such as participation, risk-taking, management and leadership, vision, originality and innovation.
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They will also be looking for entrants whose work has had had a positive impact on the wider economy and local communities.
Young Business Person of the Year (sponsored by Beswicks Solicitors)
Entrants must be aged 40 or under on January 1, 2012. They may be employed or self-employed and should be directly responsible for the success of their enterprise. Candidates will be able to demonstrate a significant role in improving profits, introducing new products and or services, or opening up new markets. Evidence of determination to seek out and exploit new opportunities and help drive the company forward will almost certainly be a key factor in the winner's approach to business.
Training Excellence Award (sponsored by Ageas Insurance Solutions)
Businesses must be able to demonstrate a real commitment to the training and personal development of staff. The judges will be particularly interested in the adoption of strategic training and development strategies which have resulted in real and demonstrable benefits to the business.
Business Innovation Award (sponsored by the Business Innovation Centre)
Entrants will be companies for which a new idea – or novel use of an existing one – is making a significant contribution to their business. That contribution could be by way of a new product, service or process, and the judges will be keen to hear about the intellectual processes which gave rise to its design and development. They will also want to know how innovation is handled within the culture of the company as this is primarily an award to encourage inventive thought and those enterprises which have the foresight to nurture it.
Environmental Business Award (sponsored by Lister Trade Frame)
Companies must have introduced environmental improvements which are enhancing the quality of life within North Staffordshire or South Cheshire. Qualifying projects must have been completed, or have reached a meaningful stage, within the past 12 months. Typical benefits are likely to be a reduction of harmful emissions, waste and or noise; improved usage of raw materials or transport efficiency, land reclamation, or action taken to reduce the impact of business activity on neighbours and the environment in general.
Small Business of the Year (sponsored by Stoke-on-Trent City Council)
The category created for the thousands of small businesses which make such an important contribution to this country's economy – especially in the current climate. Criteria for entry include turnover not exceeding £5 million during an entrant's most recent full trading year. Enterprises have to demonstrate solid success — be it growth in profit or turnover, exploiting new products, production techniques, services or markets.
Community Engagement Award (Sponsored by The Prince's Charities)
This new award will go to a business which can show proactive commitment to putting something back into the local community. Examples of this could include: Providing financial support to community projects or allowing charities, schools or community organisations to benefit from the resources of the business. Time, effort and resources invested by businesses will be considered alongside simple cash contributions.
International Trade Award (sponsored by UK Trade and Investment)
This award will be made for outstanding achievement in international trade. Entries are welcome from new or established exporters and from companies involved in overseas strategic alliances or manufacturing partnerships, and also from providers of financial services, training, consultancy, professional services etc. The growth in international trade in relation to the size of the company, and its overall success, will be of importance as will sales and marketing initiatives which have opened up new overseas opportunities.
Science in Business Award (sponsored by Staffordshire University)
This new award will go to a business which has demonstrated how the appliance of science is driving its success. Judges will be looking for outstanding companies who can show that innovative use of science and technology is helping to improve or grow their business, increase profits, recruit additional employees or benefit the wider community or environment.
Business of the Year (sponsored by Barclays)
Widely recognised as THE award for exceptional performance in business, this premier sector is open to companies with an annual turnover in excess of £5 million. Entrants need to demonstrate outstanding success during their most recent full financial year and can be judged on criteria ranging from exceptional growth and increased trading profit through to development of services and products or new production techniques.
Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by The Sentinel)
Special award. To be selected by The Sentinel's management team rather than the judging panel. The winner of this category is a closely-guarded secret.