November 19th, 2014 is the date of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards ceremony. From now until August 8th you can enter for one of the awards. All entries are welcome: last year one of those shortlisted was a 9 year old girl. It costs nothing to enter one or more of the various categories, which will all have winners, and the judges will also decide on an overall winner to be named the Great British Entrepreneur of the Year.
Support in High Places
This will be the second year of the awards which are sponsored by some major businesses, including Dell and NatWest. Our outsourced bookkeepers have noted that Sarah Shields, Dell UK’s General Manager and Executive Director for Consumer and Small and Medium Enterprises said, ‘Events such as the Great British Entrepreneur Awards are hugely important to us as they not only provide an opportunity for us to show our support for British innovation, they allow us to hear directly from entrepreneurs about their current challenges and what else we can do to help.’ Peter Ibbetson, Chairman of Business Banking, NatWest and RBS, said that the awards offer ‘a great opportunity to inspire future entrepreneurs by hearing the stories of people who’ve made a success of their ideas and built thriving businesses.’
The awards also enjoy government support. The Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: ‘The Great British Entrepreneur Awards are an opportunity to recognise the dedication and successes of those with an entrepreneurial spirit and I hope they will inspire more people to put their business ideas into practice.’
The 30 or so judges come from a wide range of backgrounds. Peter Ibbetson (mentioned above) is among them, as are author Rachel Bridge, author of five books about entrepreneurs; Krill Savin, Managing Director for UK and Ireland, Kaspersky Lab; and Jenny Tooth, Chief Executive, UK Business Angels Association.
Benefits of Entering
Why not confer with your bookkeepers about what categories you should enter? If you are shortlisted, it will be announced on September 18th. Getting involved could bring positive PR and more awareness of your business even though the awards focus on individual entrepreneurs rather than on their businesses. The awards have been featured in articles in newspapers such as The Times, The Telegraph and the Huffington Post, reaching an audience of 19 million people. Associated events also bring networking opportunities: at the 2013 awards ceremony, 3,283 business cards were exchanged.
So don’t be shy. You can only be mentioned alongside the Great British Entrepreneur Awards if you enter, and think how great it would be if you were a winner.