This week the IOE celebrates the outstanding global trading achievements of 110 British businesses – the recipients of a prestigious Queen’s Award in International Trade.
The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced that 162 companies have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. In addition to the winners in the International Trade category, a further 39 businesses were honoured for Innovation and 13 for Sustainable Development.
The honours are bestowed each year by Her Majesty the Queen and are acknowledged as the gold standard for businesses across all sectors and a global mark of excellence.
Our Director General Lesley Batchelor is a judge in the International Trade category and the rigorous judging process gives her the opportunity to ‘get under the skin’ of businesses to identify those that are leading the way in selling British products and services throughout the world.
“Taking part in the judging process brings home the fact that outstanding exporters are to be found in every sector and size of business – from those SMEs with a great new idea for hair care, like Tangle Teezer, to well established brands such as Jaguar Land Rover,” says Lesley.
“The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are truly representative of the nation’s trading excellence. With winners from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the exporting activities of businesses up and down the country are making a significant contribution to the UK economy.”
IOE member and 2014 International Trade winner Ukash is one of a select few companies to receive four consecutive Queen’s Awards. The online cash payment provider has enjoyed phenomenal growth and has enabled manufacturers, retailers and service providers to increase their online customer base as never before. In the last year alone, Ukash has extended its availability to 60 countries, including new markets in Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Romania and Ghana.
Through some 500,000 global retail locations Ukash enables customers to buy online without using traditional credit and banking cards. Product development is also a high priority with cardless cash withdrawal facilities at ATMs and money transfer services also launched.
Two businesses honoured in the International Trade category are investing in their continued global success by supporting employees to gain IOE qualifications. Gareth Allen, who is studying for our Diploma in International Trade, works for Orangebox Ltd, based in Caephilly, Wales.
Orangebox Ltd designs and manufactures innovative seating tables and pods for corporate offices. It has licensed the manufacture of its products across Australia, China, North and South America to service those markets locally. Europe and the Middle East are serviced from its UK manufacturing plant.
Sysco Guest Supply Europe Ltd in Reading, Berkshire employs 30 people, including Susan Bush, who is working towards the IOE’s Advanced Certificate in International Trade.
The company exports bathroom toiletries, bed and bath linen for hotels to nine countries. It has established a well-resourced infrastructure including warehousing, sales and distribution staff to service its key markets.
Winning a Queen’s Award provides worldwide recognition and shows that a company is outstanding in its field with 76% of previous winners reporting that the accolade brought added commercial value to their business.
Award winners are visited by a royal representative and presented with a crystal bowl to mark their achievement. They also attend a celebratory reception at Buckingham Palace.
The Institute of Export extends one year’s membership to all winners in the International Trade category. We also hold an annual gala dinner to honour the winners and celebrate their achievements. This year’s event will be on September 24 at the Clothworkers Hall and we are hoping that the Duke of Kent will be attending. Our guest speaker is German comedian Henning Wehn, who has appeared on “Would I Lie to You”, “QI” and “8 Out of 10 Cats”.
The winning businesses can use the respected Awards emblem in advertising, marketing and packaging for a period of five years, as a symbol of their quality and success.
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. To find out more visit www.queensawards.org.uk