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Growing a Business

7 Annual Small Business Awards to Enter in the UK


There's something undeniably great about feeling like your business is on the right track. The recognition of winning, or even being shortlisted for a small business award can be just the thing to give you and your team a much-needed morale boost, and it’s great PR besides.

Entering your business into awards is about so much more than just winning. Recognition, exciting prizes, or even a visibility boost are just some of the many good reasons to throw your hat into the ring.

So, stick around as we dive into the top 7 small business awards in the UK and reveal how you can get involved.

1. The Small Awards

What: The Small Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of small businesses across various industries, with a wide variety of categories to choose from.

Why enter: You’re sure to find a relevant category for your business at the Small Awards, with recognition for everything from New Kids on the Block (start-ups under 18 months), to mom-and-pop businesses, and pioneers of all things sustainable. 

Enter to gain valuable recognition for your hard work and innovation. Feeling especially confident? Why not shoot for the overall Small Business of the Year Award? The Small Awards judge on both business performance and community engagement, as well as the criteria for whatever categories you may enter. Should you make the shortlist to the final, you’ll nab an invite to a stunning black-tie awards ceremony and dinner — a great place to showcase your business while networking with other brands.


2. UK Ecommerce Awards

What: The UK Ecommerce Awards celebrate excellence in the ecommerce industry,  recognising businesses across a number of different retail sectors.

Why enter: For small business owners engaged in ecommerce, this award provides a chance to showcase their online prowess, build trust with customers, and gain a competitive edge.

Entry to the UK Ecommerce Awards is the perfect framework for reviewing your overall business and gaining clarity for future work, and can also be used as a fantastic marketing opportunity to demonstrate how passionate you are about your work. 

No one makes the shortlist without demonstrating excellent work, and should you make it this far, you’ll be provided with marketing assets you can show off on your website and social media. Winning this award will put you in the spotlight, and show potential customers that you have achieved industry excellence. Even if you don’t win, all entrants receive feedback from judges, which you can use to your advantage for future entries. 


3. British Business Awards

What: The British Business Awards honour exceptional achievements in the UK business sector, including small businesses, across multiple categories.

Why enter: With a variety of categories to choose from, the British Business Awards include accolades for women and ethnic minority-owned businesses, among awards recognising entrepreneurs under the age of 30, and for specific sectors such as Retail, Insurance, Health and wellbeing, and more. 

Even without a nomination, you’ll receive an invite to the ceremony, providing a fantastic opportunity to network and gain recognition. Also bear in mind that the British Business Awards also receive a lot of social media and news buzz, which can be helpful for driving traffic and reach for your business.


4. The Innovation Awards

What: The Innovation Awards acknowledge businesses at the forefront of innovation, offering a platform to showcase groundbreaking products, services, and ideas from emerging changemakers.

Why enter: Much more narrow in scope than some of the other awards with just 4 main categories, The Innovation Awards offer a more targeted boost for any brands or entrepreneurs looking to stand out if a commitment to making positive, impactful change is high on your agenda. Ideal for innovators in tech, engineering, sustainability, and even social services and community spaces. Consider these awards to highlight your innovative solutions, attract investors, and gain credibility as an industry leader in innovation.


5. SME National Business Awards 

What: The SME National Business Awards celebrate the accomplishments of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK, and offer a credible opportunity to support and raise the profile of industrious, hardworking and enterprising SME’s Nationally.

Why enter: When entering the SME National Business Awards, you can participate in up to 3 categories. a credible opportunity to support and share in our vision to raise the profile of industrious, hardworking and enterprising SME’s Nationally. Enter to strengthen your brand's local presence, increase brand visibility, and foster connections with other thriving SMEs. Also bear in mind that these awards offer a number of marketing and PR opportunities available to nominees, ideal for driving traffic, reach and impressions as part of cross-channel marketing activities.


6. The Small Business Awards UK

What: These awards aim to recognise and honor the contributions of small and micro businesses in the UK, with region-specific location spotlights such as Peterborough, Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, and Cambridge

Why enter: With an entry fee as low as £30, the question should be why wouldn't you enter? You can also enter in up 2 categories, so long as you meet the entry requirements in line with UK government directives. The Small Business Awards gives entrants so much more in return for its entry fee than other awards, such as access to the SBA Nominated branding for use on social media etc. from the entry stage, free listing on the the SBA Directory, plus great marketing opportunities to gain local and national PR, as well as use of their free social media templates and badges. If your business is based in one of the aforementioned regions, then these awards are a must for driving local PR.


7. The Small Business of the Year Awards 

What: The Small Business of the Year Awards are part of the British Business Excellence Awards sponsored by Lloyds Bank, which highlight exceptional small businesses in the UK.

Why enter: With eighteen different categories to choose from, there's no shortage of opportunities here for small businesses to shine. If a few are standing out to you, remember that you can enter more than once in different categories to highlight different aspects and achievements in your business journey. All entrants will be invited to the SMOY exclusive summer event, including webinars, as well as plenty of opportunities to network with fellow entrants, sponsors, judges and more. 


Be in to win

Whether you win or not, entering awards is good practice for any small business. With ample opportunities to grow and network at every turn, the awards process can help you learn how to talk up your brand achievements in a PR-friendly way, and take stock of how far you and your team have come.

So, what are you waiting for? Make plans to enter one of these fantastic business awards today and help your business shine.

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