The Queens Award for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organisations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses. The winners of the Queens Award are selected by the Queen on the advice given by the Prime Minister.
The Queens Award is a long running and highly respected accolade. The first awards were presented in 1966, with annual presentations since. Originally known as The Queens Award to Industry it was later replaced in 1976 by two separate Awards – The Queens Award for Export Achievement and The Queens Award for Technological Achievement. In 1993 a third award, The Queens Award For Environmental Achievement was instituted by Royal Warrant. In 1999 HRH The Prince of Wales carried out a comprehensive review and the current structure known as The Queens Awards for Enterprise were established. Since 1966 approximately 6000 Awards have been presented across the 4 categories that make up The Queens Award for Enterprise structure.
Company’s who are recognised and awarded the Queens Award are invited to a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace, prior to being presented with the award by a Lord Lieutenant who is one of the Queens approved and official representatives. As a reward winning companies are given permission to fly The Queens Award flag at their offices and use the emblem on marketing material. The award is symbolised by a signed certificate called the Grant of Appointment and a commemorative crystal trophy.
It is commonly reported by winners that they benefit particularly from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, press coverage and a boost to staff morale.
To be eligible to apply for the Queens Award for Enterprise organisations must meet minimum criteria. The organisation, firstly, must be based in the UK (including Channel Islands and Isle of Man). They must file their company Tax Returns with HM Revenue and Customs and be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services under its own management. Organisations can be both profit or non-profit, having at least 2 full time UK employees.
The award sub-categories are International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity Through Social Mobility.
To apply for a Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade an organisation must in addition to the criteria listed above, also must have made a minimum of £100000 in overseas sales in the first year of your entry and show year on year growth. With this in mind; the organisation must be able to prove that they have achieved outstanding growth in overseas earnings relative to their business size and sector. All in all, applicants must be able to demonstrate either substantial year on year growth over 6 years or steep year on year growth in overseas sales over 3 years.
To apply for a Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation an organisation must also have an innovation that has not been sold before. This innovation must have been available on the market for a minimum of 2 years and be able to demonstrate that investment costs in your innovation have either been recovered or will be recovered in future. The innovation can be an invention, a performance of service, marketing and distribution or as after-sale support of goods or services. To qualify the innovation must be able to show outstanding commercial success over a period of 2 years or continuous commercial success over a period of 5 years.
To apply for a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development an organisation must also show that they have achieved outstanding sustainable development for more than 2 years, providing evidence of the benefits of positive outcomes of the company’s actions or interventions.
Promoting Opportunity Through Social Mobility
To apply for the Queens Award for Enterprise in Promoting Opportunity Through Social Mobility an organisation must also have a social mobility programme that can be evidence as running for more than 2 years and be able to demonstrate benefits to organisation and employees.
In business any accolade is always welcomed. It is very exciting and flattering to be acknowledged as a leader or high performer in your respective field. From a commercial perspective many companies can be quoted as feeling that The Queens Award and the ability to use the emblem on websites and marketing material gives a competitive edge in terms of credibility and authenticity.
It is often seen as a valuable selling tool as Her Majesty the Queen is held in such high regard. Dealers and End Customers can take pride in a product that has been recognised by the Queen. Many countries have adoring fans of the UK royal family, whereby her official emblem holds high regard. From a customer’s perspective, winners of the Queen Award suggest the Award itself is recognition that with the brand they are in good hands. In general, perception is changed by everyone who speaks to the business, whereby the company profile is risen to customers, distributors and supplier’s home and abroad.
Previous recipients of the award are keen to highlight the positives in the award, whereby it is an honour to be even considered for it. Many would urge companies that think that they reach the required criteria to apply. Previous winners similarly can apply each year as long as they meet the criteria for the category they are entering. Many previous winners have reapplied on following years and been awarded successive accolades, further demonstrating and acknowledging their growth as a company. On some occasions companies also enter in more than one category, with many organisations rightfully been awarded the accolade for success in one or all.
The previous winners of the awards are very varied in the products and services that they offer. The companies being presented the award include Welland Power, a family owned manufacturer of Diesel Generators, Fever-Tree who have fast become a world leading premium mixer brand, Marks & Spencer.