It’s tremendous to be applauding the recently announced vibrant and innovative winners of the prestigious The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise – hailed as “The highest accolade a business can receive” by Business and Enterprise Minister, Mark Prisk.
As Director General of the Institute of Export, I was delighted and honoured to be on the 2012 judging panel in the International Trade category where 151 companies were recognised for their tremendous achievements out of a total 209 recipients.
The 151 entries exceeded last year’s total of 103 and the dynamic mix of enterprises span products and services, and cover sectors including pharmaceutical, training, engineering, food and drink, clothing and footwear and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).
The standard of entries for this year’s awards has also been the highest ever, with 25 per cent of the entrants receiving an award.
Securing an award in the category of International Trade is no mean feat; it requires an organisation to show a sustained increase in export earnings over three consecutive years – an increase, moreover, which must be “outstanding” for the product or size of the company.
This year’s export winners range from SMEs all the way up to such household names such as Nissan. Four companies won multiple awards in the International Trade and Innovation categories and one – Sun Mark– became the first company to receive an award for four consecutive years.
Mark Prisk also reinforced how: “The standard of this year’s winners highlights the great work taking place by businesses of all sizes to help boost the growth of the UK economy.”
The Queen’s Awards also help to boost the fortunes of the winners. According to a recent survey, 83 per cent of respondents said that receiving an award increased the company’s standing; 63 per cent said it increased their company’s press coverage; and almost half (48 per cent) said an award gave them a competitive edge trading overseas.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have been distributed to mark achievement in international trade, innovation and sustainable developments amongst British businesses since 1966.
Winners receive a crystal bowl, an invitation to a special reception at Buckingham Palace, and the right to use The Queen’s Awards emblem in their marketing, packaging and advertising.
Our team at Export House and I would like to send all the winners my heartiest congratulations.