The Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2018

The Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2018 is now open for entries!

Showcasing Buckinghamshire

The Buckinghamshire Business Awards are an opportunity for local businesses to show that they are leaders in their field who excel through hard work and entrepreneurial vision.

Each winner and finalist embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship that makes Buckinghamshire renowned for business success. Together, they all show that nobody does business like Buckinghamshire.


What you need to know

Buckinghamshire’s most prestigious Business Awards is now open for entries, so if you are looking to showcase your business as the best of the best, make sure you are ready to enter. Here is all the information you need to know about entering.

If you are interested in sponsoring the 2018 Buckinghamshire Business Awards please download the Sponsorship Brochure or contact us at awards@bbf.uk.com.

Entering the awards is easy, fill out the entry request form to start your Buckinghamshire Business Award journey.

Once you have filled out the entry request form your next steps are below:

  • Entry can be made using our entry forms only from which shortlists will be decided
  • Shortlisted organisations will be visited by a judge at their premises
  • From the shortlist – finalists will be selected after having been through our judging panel
  • Finalists will be notified by email
  • A senior representative from all finalist organisations must be available to attend the gala dinner in May

Whatever the size, sector or age of your business you will benefit.

Development begins at entry

Entering creates an opportunity to focus on your business in a structured way and identify core strengths and competitive advantages. Use the entry process as an MOT for your business.

Recognition of excellence

Award winners receive public recognition of business excellence, being acknowledged as the best in Buckinghamshire by peers, the business community and media. There are also bottom line benefits, winning companies often secure new contracts as a direct result of their success.

All winners receive a bespoke trophy designed locally

Appreciation

The award process provides a platform that acknowledges the contributions made by employees to your organisation’s success and an invitation to the awards ceremony can reward their efforts.

Publicity

Award participation provides another dimension for showcasing your services and products to a wider audience together with recognition within the local community as being an outstanding business.

As a finalist and winner, companies receive official Buckinghamshire Business Awards branding and logos to use for promotional purposes.

Finalists and winners will be featured in our Awards supplement produced and distributed by local press in Buckinghamshire.

Any registered private sector organisation or company of any size located within Buckinghamshire that has been trading for at least 12 months is eligible to enter the awards.

If your organisation is part of a larger business or a franchise, your organisation must function as a separate business unit in the county of Buckinghamshire.

Sponsors of awards are not eligible to enter the Buckinghamshire Business Awards and entries cannot be accepted from any business which is part or wholly funded by any local authority.

Please see full terms and conditions for further information.  

  • Thursday 16th November 2017 - Applications open for 2018 Awards
  • Friday 17th November 2017 - Entry Workshop, Amersham
  • Thursday 30th November 2017 - Entry Workshop, Stokenchurch
  • Wednesday 31st January 2018 - Closing date for entries
  • Thursday 5th April 2018 - Tickets for the Awards go on sale
  • Thursday 12th April 2018 - Finalists Announced 
  • Tuesday 22nd May 2018 - Awards Ceremony at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

General

  • Sponsors of awards are not eligible to enter the Buckinghamshire Business Awards and entries cannot be accepted from any business which is part or wholly funded by any local authority.
  • All entrants are expected to declare if they consider themselves to have any interest in the Sponsoring organisation of the category(ies) that they are entering. Our conflict of interest policy is designed to preserve the impartiality of the judging process by ensuring that all parties recognise and disclose any conflict situations. All steps will be taken to avoid and/or manage these situations as they arise
  • All entrants must agree to be interviewed by awards judges
  • Additional supporting information such as photographs and testimonials is acceptable and should be relevant to the last 12 months
  • We regret that information in support of entries cannot be returned and will be destroyed securely post awards
  • All entrants and finalists are invited to attend the Buckinghamshire Business Awards Dinner. This is a formal event during which the awards ceremony is held and the winners are announced. No results will be announced before this date
  • By applying for The Buckinghamshire Business Awards, you automatically qualify for membership of Buckinghamshire Business First. For details of membership, please visit bbf.uk.com/register

Judging

  • Once your entry is submitted the hard work begins for the judges tasked with assessing all entries
  • Shortlisted entries will receive site visits in order to determine finalists and category winners. You will need to be available between February 12th - March 30th 2018 for visits
  • Being shortlisted and visited by a sponsor/judge doesn’t necessarily secure your place as a finalist
  • All selections of finalists and winners will be reviewed by the independent judging panel made up of experienced business professionals
  • Category finalists will be considered for the overall Buckinghamshire Company of the Year 2018 Award. No ‘entry’ is required for this award as this is judged on the overall application of category finalists as well as subsequent finalist site visits
  • Charities will not be considered for the overall Company of the Year Award
  • All entries are treated in confidence. Judges are required to sign a confidentiality agreement that prevents them from sharing any information in relation to entrants outside of the judging process
  • When judging has concluded, entry submissions will be destroyed by the judges
  • The judges’ decision is final and no communications will be entered into
  • Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Business First have no influence over the judges’ decisions

Finalists

  • Judges will choose 3 finalists for each category and finalists will be officially announced 12th April 2018
  • A representative from each of the finalist companies will need to attend the awards ceremony. One free (seat) ticket will be provided and more can be bought for staff and family in order to make the night a true celebration
  • Each finalist must agree to take part in publicity and by entering the awards you agree to this
  • The winner of each category will be announced from the 3 finalists on the night
  • A list of winners will be available on the Business Awards website at bbf.uk.com/bba2018

Please download the following documents to help you make the most of your entry. 

What is the deadline for entry?

The deadline for entry is midnight on 31st January 2018

How do we submit an entry?

You must download and complete an entry form for each category you wish to enter in addition to the General Information Form

How much does it cost to enter?

The awards are free to enter and shortlisted organisations will receive one free ticket to the gala dinner in May 2018

How many stages are there?

  1. Entry is by written submission only from which shortlists will be decided. 
  2. Shortlisted organisations will be visited by a judge at their premises 
  3. From the shortlist – finalists will be selected after judges have presented their recommendations to our judging panel.
  4. Finalists will be notified by email on Thursday 12th April 2018
  5. A senior representative from all finalist organisations must be available to attend the gala dinner in May 2018 

Who can enter the awards?

Any registered private sector organisation company of any size located within Buckinghamshire that has been trading for at least 12 months is eligible to enter the awards. If your organisation is part of a larger business or a franchise your organisation must function as a separate business unit in the county of Buckinghamshire. 

For more information please read the Term and Conditions on the ‘Your guide to entering the Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2018'

How do I enter the Company of the Year Award?

No entry is required for Company of the Year Award as this is judged on the overall application of the category finalists as well as subsequent finalist site visits. 

What is the confidentiality policy for the written entries?

All entries are confidential and will only be viewed by the judges who are obliged to complete a confidentiality agreement. Following the awards all documentation will be securely disposed of. 

Who should I contact with any questions?

The Buckinghamshire Business Awards are organised by Buckinghamshire Business First and any questions should be directed to awards@bbf.uk.com or tel: 01494 927158.

What can I expect on the night?

A night like nothing you’ve ever experienced before – the ceremony is something very different and will certainly be a night to remember, regardless of if you are a guest, a finalist or even better a winner!  

Your colleagues, important clients and prospects will enjoy the very best in hospitality, cuisine and production.


Top Tips

Take a look at the top tips from previous winners, judges and PR expert below:


2018 Award Categories

There are 12 award categories to enter and a business can enter up to two categories plus one Best in District Award. The prestigious Company of the Year Award will be given to a company chosen from all of the finalists across all of the awards.

This award is open to all employers who have employed or provided work experience for a young person under the age of 24 (at the time of recruitment) since September 2016 which has involved training. The following types of relevant work opportunities include: apprenticeships, traineeships, work experience and general part time work. The award wishes to recognise companies providing excellence in training and career opportunities in the county.

This Award is open to any business, irrelevant of size offering meeting, conference or venue space to businesses from within the county and beyond.
The winner of this award will also be offered a complimentary Ambassador membership of Visit Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns, for one year. 

Buckinghamshire’s four District Councils are demonstrating their commitment to supporting a vibrant economic community by offering businesses based in each of their district’s the chance to be crowned ‘the best of the best’.  

The District Award can also be entered in addition to two other awards or  as an entry in its own right should a company not wish to enter any other specific category.

The Business Leader of the Year Award identifies and celebrates business leaders who are really going places. This person/persons will be someone who has already:

  • Started and built a business/es
  • Can demonstrate that they have ambition, energy and skill 
  • Developed a vision to allow them to ‘scale the heights’ within their market sector

The award recognises those businesses who have a strong track record of playing their responsible part in society and giving back to it, through fund raising, active support from company employees and/or providing opportunities for worthy causes, for which there is no direct financial benefit to the company.

This award seeks  to recognise excellence in customer service at a time when standards in customer service are often questioned. We are looking for a business which can:

  • Demonstrate that customer service is treated as a priority
  • Show that the company has a positive customer service culture
  • Demonstrate how customer service has improved over the last 12 months 

This Award is open to any business within the county who have grown or scaled up since October 2016. The definition of a scale up refers to business which have shown rapid growth with the potential and ambition to continue that trajectory.

This award is open to any business:

  • With a minimum of 5 employees since January 2016
  • That has achieved a minimum of £250k turnover in the last year
  • With the potential/aspiration to grow turnover and/or profit by a minimum of 50% over a 3 year period

Businesses and organisations that enter this category will need to show that:

  • They have expanded their markets beyond that of the UK and/or are working with other international companies
  • They have successfully launched or expanded their non-UK operations or collaborations within the last 24 months
  • They have significantly increased their overall sales revenue as a result of international working

This category is open to any business that started trading after the 1st Jan 2016. The business cannot be an expansion of an existing business, name change or new location of an existing organisation.

The small business category is open to any business that employs fewer than 20 full time employees or equivalent.

Enter the Awards

Want to enter your business into the 2018 Awards? Click below...

Enter now

Recommend a Business

Want to recommend a business into the 2018 awards? Click below...

Recommend now

2018 Sponsors


2017 Highlights

Whether you missed out on the 2017 Buckinghamshire Business Awards and want to see what the fuss is all about, or if you were there but your memory is a little hazy (perhaps related to the amount of champagne drunk on the night) then check out all of the pictures from the night on our Flickr account and what happened on social media here.

If the moving image is more your thing, we can cater for you. See our YouTube channel for the videos shown on the night featuring the finalists in each category.

2017 Award Winners

You can find all the winners from the 2017 awards here.