Business competitions can offer more than just funding, providing winners with excellent PR opportunities and prestige which can open doors and help leverage further funding and investment. If you're looking to raise your profile on a regional or national scale, there are hundreds of competitions taking place in Britain throughout the year.
Ingenious Britain Awards: As part of their preparations for Ingenious Britain Live! event in Birmingham in September 2014, Ingenious Britain are searching for ten Ingenious Britons. These are small business owners who can demonstrate a tangible impact on their business as a result of being ingenious.
Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards: With the focus on ‘young entrepreneurs', the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards are for students and graduates aged 18 or over that have been running their business for more than 1 year. The Award offers cash prize packages of between £5,000 and £50,000, PR, legal advice and a two year mentoring programme to support their business ambitions.
National Business Awards: Any company within the UK, whether public, private sector can enter the National Business Awards, regardless of size or industry. There is a cost of £295 +VAT.
Nat West Every Woman Awards: There are now almost 1.5 million women self-employed in the UK, which represents an increase of around 300,000 since before the economic downturn. This figure is disproportionately low compared with the number of male-owned businesses, and the Nat West Every Woman Awards aims to address the imbalance, highlighting the achievements of exceptional women of all ages.
Nectar Small Business Awards: The Nectar Small Business Awards have a range of categories including Small Business of the Year, Contribution to the Community, Innovation of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Trades Person of the Year and Startup of the Year. Winners of each category win a £2,000 cash prize, 50,000 Nectar points, a round table event with judges and leading entrepreneurs and nationwide publicity for their business.
O2 Smarta Awards: The O2 Smarta 100 is an annual celebration of the most resourceful and inspiring small businesses in the UK. It seeks to find the best businesses in the UK, not necessarily in terms of who makes the most money, but the businesses that have the most original ideas and make a true difference. The Awards offer a £1,000 cash prize for each of the winners of 10 award categories and a £10,000 top prize up for grabs.
Scottish Enterprise Edge Awards: The Scottish EDGE (Encouraging Dynamic Growth Entrepreneurs) Awards is a Dragon's Den style competition for ambitious entrepreneurs who wish to grow their business. Companies that demonstrate the most potential can win awards of up to£50,000 and access additional support for their business.
Shell LiveWIRE Awards: If you're aged 16-30, based in the UK and have been trading for less than 12 months you should enter the monthly £1,000 Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards competition. As one of the UK's longest running youth enterprise schemes, Shell LiveWIRE is highly regarded and can open doors for you and your business. Each month, 10 start-ups are shortlisted and up to 4 win a £1,000 cash prize. The winners are also then put forward for the £10,000 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award final.
South Coast BusinessAwards recogniseslocal entrepreneurial talent.
Startups Awards: The Startups Awards has earned a reputation for unearthing some of the UK's finest entrepreneurial businesses, and shining a spotlight on the start-up market.
The Pitch: The Pitch provides the winners and shortlisted businesses with a high level of online media coverage. It also comes with a prize package that includes business support, tools and resources worth thousands of pounds.