King's Awards for Enterprise 2024 open for entry tomorrow

Fri 5 May 2023
Posted by: Richard Cree
Trade News

Gates of Buckingham Palace with royal insignia

Tomorrow (6 May) is a big day for the UK, as it officially crowns a new King and Queen. But it is also a big day for UK businesses, as it marks the official opening of this year’s King’s Awards for Enterprise.

Launched to coincide with the coronation, entry to the King’s Awards is a great opportunity for UK businesses to get recognition for their successes in a way that can help them go on to achieve even greater things. Previous winners include Dyson and Brompton Bikes.

The continuation of the King’s Awards for Enterprise, previously known as the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, demonstrates that King Charles III is keen to continue his mother’s legacy in recognising outstanding UK businesses.

The award programme, now in its 57th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for five years after they win an award.

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) has partnered with the awards for over a decade, offering a year’s complimentary business membership for winners of the international trade category. IOE&IT membership manager, Helen Hastie says it has been “a delight” working in partnership with the King’s Awards office celebrating exceptional achievements in international trade.

“The IOE&IT has had the honour of assisting in judging the international trade category, but also awards successful applicants a year’s complimentary membership. The winners can make use of a suite of services to enable them to trade more effectively, competitively and compliantly.

“Members join a community of like-minded professionals striving to exceed the professional standards set for international trade. We support members’ aims by providing guidance, knowledge and expertise in a variety of formats, including webinars, helplines and mentoring programmes.”

Hastie adds that the whole IOE&IT is delighted to welcome organisations continuing to drive forward best practice and put international trade at the heart of their business.


To apply for the King’s Award for Enterprise your organisation must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Be based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)
  • Have a good compliance record with HMRC, showing they pay the right amount of tax, on time
  • Be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management
  • Have at least two full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents
  • Be able to demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility

Applying organisations can be either be businesses or non-profit organisations. There are four award categories – international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility. As well as the general entry criteria, each category has some additional entry rules.

To apply for an international trade award, for example, you must also have made a minimum of £100,000 in overseas sales in the first year of your entry and show year-on-year growth. You also need to be able to prove that your organisation has achieved “outstanding growth in overseas earnings relative to your business size and sector” and also show “steep” year-on-year growth (without dips) in overseas sales over three years, or “substantial” year-on-year growth (without dips) over six years.

Lessons from this year’s winners

Winners regularly report benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale. As with every previous year, the winners of awards in 2023 covered a wide range of sectors and came from all across the UK.

Ideal Foods

Cornwall based Ideal Foods has over 20 years’ experience exporting fish, shellfish and fish by-products to customers in over 40 countries around the world, specifically in the Far East, Europe and the US. The company has seen consistent growth and this year announced a record yeas as turnover increased to £22.4m, 80% of which came from exports.

Tony Horner, managing director of Ideal Foods, said of winning a King’s Award for international trade:

“It gives me immense pride to see our company honoured in this way. We have a wonderful team of committed, hard-working and high-achieving staff, and everyone has contributed to our international success.

This is a very exciting time for Ideal Foods with new projects on the horizon. We are delighted that we can move forward with our business activities along with the accolade of the King’s Award for Enterprise.”

Little BigPaw

Little BigPaw is a range of 100% natural foods and treats, made in the UK and sold in over 45 countries worldwide. Launched in 2015, Little BigPaw has expanded internationally, taking advantage of the trend for high-quality, natural pet foods everywhere. Little BigPaw co-founders David Alton and Jim Weston have over 60 years’ experience between them in the trade.

“It’s a huge honour to receive this award and we are absolutely delighted for the whole team and for all our dedicated distributors globally. This is royal recognition, not just for Little BigPaw products but for the hard work of staff, suppliers and our distribution partners over the last few years,” said Weston.

Alton added that, “It is a great privilege to receive royal recognition. This award motivates us to continue to strive to provide the very best of British pet foods around the world.”


Bango is a technology platform provider that offers backend technology that brings together marketing and payments technology to help some of the largest brands around the world to convert more online visitors into paying customers. It’s client roster includes prestige names such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

According to its website, Bango technology claims to help more than 4.5 billion online users discover and pay for content and services in over 75 countries.

Paul Larbey, Bango CEO, said of the King’s Award for Enterprise:

“This is a real honour for Bango and recognises the pivotal role the Bango platform plays in helping the world’s largest companies find new paying customers. Our products benefit hundreds of millions of people around the world, making international trade integral to our business as we strive to achieve our mission of being the technology behind every payment choice.

“Achieving the King’s Award for Enterprise is something of which everyone at Bango can be immensely proud.”