Why entering awards are good for you and your small business
As a busy business owner you need to find ways to promote what you do with maximum impact. You know the value of your business or service and can shout about it from the top of your lungs all day long. But what’s even more impactful is when other people do it for you. Along with using testimonials on your website and social media from customers you can also enter awards. Win a business award and you’ll create a buzz around your business, enhance your brand and have your story shared in the press. But you have to be in it to win it! Keep track of your networks for news about when their award programmes are running and think of all the of strings to your bow when considering which categories give you and your business the best chance of success.
One awards programme coming up for female business founders is the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards - regarded as the Oscars for female entrepreneurs and business leaders. Set up in 1972 as a tribute to their own female founder, Madame Clicquot, the awards continue to champion the success of women worldwide who share the same enterprising spirit, courage and determination to succeed.
As well as their Business Woman of the Year Award, they are looking for strong nominations to apply for their Social Purpose Award (businesswomen championing social purpose beyond their core business case) and New Generation (under 35 year old) awards. Nominations close on 30 December 2016.
A recent winner of the Veuve Clicquot New Generation award was Jenny Dawson Costa, founder and CEO of relish range Rubies in the Rubble, and graduate of our Business & IP Centre’s ‘Growth Club’. Earlier this year Jenny shared with us how the business began:
“The idea for Rubies in the Rubble came after a very early morning visit to a wholesale fruit and veg market on my bike one frosty day in November 2010. I fell in love with the market - such a diverse range of people living by night and sleeping by day; a world of farmers, wholesalers, restaurant owners and market sellers trading anything from durians to brussel sprouts.
But just along from the bustle of the traders were the piles of unwanted fruit and veg - mange tout from Kenya, mangos from the Philippines, tomatoes from Turkey, cranberries for California which bypassed the bustle of traders and headed straight for the bin! And what really saddened me was that much of these, though potentially with a short shelf life, were perfectly edible!
It got me thinking about the impossibility of matching supply and demand when you have unpredictable weather, unpredictable humans and supermarkets that provide everything in plentiful piles throughout the year.
I then buried myself in researching food waste and realising its scale and implications – both environmentally and financially. However, it was a simple fact that compelled me to act: we are wasting 1/3 of all the food we produce, whilst 1bn people go to bed hungry. I’m not saying I know the solution but there are improvements that we can make to the current system.
And then it came to me: a premium food brand making delicious products from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded.”
We’re huge fans of the Rubies relish and continue to work with Jenny to grow the company. If your own story is just as powerful then think about applying for the New Generation or Social Purpose award 2017.
At our next ‘Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Internet Icons’ event, on Tuesday 7 February, you will have the chance to listen to and meet the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award winner Woman of the Year for 2016, Sarah Wood, who’s marketing agency Unruly has been behind fantastic campaigns such as the Compare the Market’s meerkat adverts.
The event will see Sarah share her story alongside three other inspiring entrepreneurs; founders of SpareRoom, Bloom & Wild and Deliciously Ella. You can join us in the British Library or watch from home with our free of charge webcast. You’ll also have the opportunity to question the panel about how you find the right awards to apply to and ask for tips on how to win.
If you are a female founder and fit the mould for the New Generation or Social Impact Awards then here are some useful tips for submitting a 5 star application:
- Give yourself enough time to answer the questions to the best of your ability and to shine a light on your achievements
- Don’t be shy! Be sure to give a compelling reason within each answer for why you and your business deserve to be the winner
- Be honest. However tempting to inflate the details be truthful and so avoid potential PR problems later on
- Have attention to detail – have you answered all the questions fully, within the word limit and hitting all the key criteria?
Good luck with your applications and maybe you'll be the next winner of the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards.