The lunchtime panel discussion at the Made in the Midlands Expo, held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on June 20, focused on the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, and how a business goes about applying for one.
Ninder Johal DL, CEO of the Nachural Group of Companies, spoke about what the Queen’s Awards are and how businesses can go about getting the accreditation.
The Queen’s Awards are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.
Ninder explained that to enter for a Queen’s Award a business has to fulfil certain criteria. This includes being based in the UK and filing tax returns with HMRC, be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management, have at least two full-time employees (or full-time equivalent) and being able to demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility.
Each award then has its own specific eligibility criteria. For instance, Ninder outlined that to qualify for the International Trade award a business should have made at least £100,000 in international sales in the first year of entry. In addition, they need to prove outstanding growth in overseas earnings relative to business size and sector, as well as steep year-on-year growth – without dips – in overseas sales over three years.
Meanwhile for the Innovation award, Ninder said that a business must have an innovation that has not been sold before and has been on sale for at least two years. The business should be able to show that the innovation has paid for itself – or will do in the future – and that it has had outstanding commercial success as a result of the innovation over two years.
Finally, Ninder spoke about what is needed to apply for the Promoting Opportunity award. This includes having operated a social mobility programme for more than two years, being able to provide evidence of the programme’s benefits to the organisation and its employees.
Improvements should help socially disadvantaged individuals or groups in providing work experience, careers advice or mentoring for young people; offering non-graduate routes such as traineeships or changing recruitment practices and giving equal support and progression opportunities to all employees.
After applying, organisations will be shortlisted, who then have to provide verified figures. A few months later, winning organisations are notified.
Queen’s Award winners are invited to a Royal reception and presented with the award at their premises company by a Lord-Lieutenant, one of The Queen’s representatives. They are also given a Grant of Appointment – an official certificate – and a commemorative crystal trophy.
The Award is valid for five years and in that time, winners can take advantage of various benefits, such as being able to fly the Queen’s Awards flag at their main office and using the emblem on marketing materials such as adverts, stationery and website
Rowan Crozier from Birmingham-based contract pressworks specialist Brandauer then took up the mic, talking about how the company successfully applied for a Queen’s Award for International Trade.
He said that the whole application exercise had been useful to learn new things about the business through the journey to accreditation, and it was also an opportunity to think about where Brandauer would go next.
Currently, 85% of Brandauer’s £9.2 million annual sales is exported to international markets. This figure has gone up 4% year-on-year since 2015. Now, Brandauer exports to more than 20 countries, including Israel, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Germany.
Rowan added that on the day it was announced the company had won an award, they received numerous calls from clients congratulating them.
From a marketing perspective, the benefits are obvious, Rowan added. He said that being able to use the Queen’s Award logo across Brandauer’s marketing material is a fantastic way to open doors into trade with overseas markets.
The Queen’s Award carries weight, he added. It gives the message that Brandauer is a well-established and reputable organisation, with high levels of excellence, service and principles. A message that quickly starts building trust.Back