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30th July 2021

Everything you need to know about The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses and is a globally recognised royal seal of approval for UK companies.

The Queen’s Award to Industry, the scheme’s original title, was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965, with the first Awards announced in 1966. It later became known as the Queen’s Awards for Export and Technology in 1975, before becoming the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 1999. Since the Award’s inception in 1965 more than 7,000 companies have won a Queen’s Award.

About the Awards

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise recognise outstanding achievements across 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.
  • 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 employers for their work in 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.

Awards Benefits

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Emblem is a trusted mark that provides immediate and long-term business benefits. The use of the prestigious Queen’s Awards Emblem is a recognised Royal endorsement that will get your business noticed, above and beyond the competition, both at home and overseas.

Winning businesses are permitted to fly The Queen’s Awards flag at their main office, and use the esteemed Queen’s Awards for Enterprise emblem on products and stationery for the next 5 years.

Feedback from previous winners suggests that winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise can benefit businesses with;

  • 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 Awards are a self-nominating process and are free to enter.

Awards Process

The 2022 round of applications opened on 1 May and closes at midday on 8 September this year. Once the application round closes, the application forms are then assessed by teams of independent assessors, with experience and expertise in each specific category.

In November those applicants that have been shortlisted by assessors are notified and asked to provide independent verification of the financial figures they provided in their application forms.

Applicants are also notified that due diligence checks are to be carried out on each of the shortlisted companies.

In January and February the assessors’ recommendations in each of the four categories are examined by the relevant judging panels. A list of recommendations is then sent to the Prime Minister for consideration before finally being submitted to Her Majesty the Queen for her personal approval.

Unsuccessful applicants also receive feedback on the strengths of their application and guidance about how to improve future entries. Many find the comprehensive feedback useful and regularly feedback to us saying that they found the whole process great for reflecting on their business.

The winners are announced to the national and regional press on Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday – 21 April and their awards are valid for 5 years.

Awards Criteria

To apply for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise your organisation must:

  • be based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)
  • file its Company Tax Returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management
  • have at least 2 full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents
  • demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility

Your organisation can be a business or non-profit. Each of the award categories has additional entry criteria.

How to apply

Watch our webinars for An Introduction or to find out How to Apply and hear from past winners.

To apply visit gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise

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