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News & Press: IOE&IT News

Simply the best – IOE Director General on judging The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

12 July 2013  
Posted by: IOE News
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Businesses have less than three months to enter The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise that are the gold standard for businesses across all sectors and an acknowledged mark of excellence.

We hope that many IOE members will enter these awards that have so much kudos internationally and are a real badge of honour for global business success.

The Awards are bestowed each year by Her Majesty The Queen in recognition of the winners’ outstanding achievements. There are three categories: Innovation, International Trade and Sustainable Development. Entry is open to all UK-based companies employing a minimum of two full-time people or equivalent.

Winning an award can provide global recognition that your company is outstanding in its field, as well as boosting staff morale and could even lead to an increase in sales. 76% of previous winners reported that the Queen’s Award had brought added commercial value to their business, 73% reported a boost to staff engagement and 49% of winners achieved increased recognition overseas. Winners will receive a commemorative Grant of Appointment and a crystal bowl, and can display the Awards emblem for five years. Winners are invited to a reception with Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Our Director General, Lesley Batchelor, is a judge in The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2014 International Trade category – she explains how entries are assessed and what judges will be looking for in the international trade category:

“It’s an honour to be a judge in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise; along with that privilege comes the chance to scrutinise some outstanding companies whose exporting activities are making a significant contribution to the UK economy.

“Entering the awards is a vigorous progress with tough criteria so the entries that make the judging short list are really the cream of the crop. We are seeing those companies that are excelling in export and international trade.

“In order to reach the shortlist, companies must demonstrate a real commitment to selling overseas as an integral part of their business strategy and goals. Entries are assessed in three key areas; overseas earnings’ growth, commercial success and strategy.

“We want to see entries embracing international trading as an integral part of their business strategy and evidence of a planned approach to international trade rather than exporting happening by chance. This might be demonstrated through considerable research into new markets and pricing. I’m particularly keen to see evidence of investment in training staff in the necessary skills required for international trade such as key employees working towards the IOE’s own qualifications would signify a real commitment to international trade.

“Judges look for originality in approach rather than specific sectors or products. Sometimes a company stands out because their offer is so different. Nails Inc was one of 116 businesses to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the international trade category this year. From a UK base of 60 outlets Nails Inc is establishing itself in the USA, Singapore, Middle East and Hong Kong and making inroads into newer markets including Mexico, South Africa and Brazil.

“The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the highest accolade for UK businesses. I would urge IOE members across all sectors to enter.”

Applications to The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise close on 30 September and Representatives of winning firms are invited to a reception with HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace. For more information go to: www.queensawards.org.uk.