How to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2023

rebecca carpenter

Rebecca Carpenter

Managing Consultant, Boost 

Entering The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2023

We like to call The Queen’s Award for Enterprise ‘the mother of all awards’. To win a Queen’s Award brings unparalleled prestige, exposure and recognition, with many recognising it as the highest UK official award for businesses. Anyone who could win an award from HM Queen Elizabeth II would certainly be mad not to try. Think what it would feel like to say, “We are Queen’s Award winners”. 

Inevitably such an accolade is highly competitive and requires a lot of preparation. Having written 41 winning entries for clients, I hope this article will help you decide whether you COULD win an award, and if so, HOW to do so.

The scheme

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise truly is the most credible UK award out there. It has an entry deadline of 6th September this year (note, this is a Tuesday rather than the usual Wednesday) and comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Being able to fly the logo as a flag above your office for five years and use the emblem on your marketing materials.
  • A site visit from Royal representatives to present the award.
  • Invites for a leader and frontline staff member to a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace.
  • Being given a Grant of Appointment and a commemorative crystal bowl.

All this from an award which has no entry or ceremony fees associated with it. Surely with so much on offer for so little, every business should try and win the award?

Should you apply for a Queen’s Award?

Firstly… could your business win?

Well, the awards have four categories, and each is looking for something very specific indeed. There is no limit on the number of Queen’s Award winners in each category. We have distilled criteria into four scenarios below; if any of these describe your business then you really should consider entering.

 

  1. Innovation: You have an innovation that can be defined as an invention, design or production of goods, performance of services, marketing and distribution or after-sales support of goods or services. Whichever it is, you need to ensure it has been available on the market for at least 2 years. Companies that invented and manufactured a physical product tend to do better in this category. However, those with service innovation can (and do) still win if you are able to concretely prove that you are innovative.
  2. International trade: You are leading your sector in exporting goods or services overseas and have had three financial years of outstanding overall financial performance and growth in exports or six financial years of strong continual growth. You must have made a minimum of £100,000 in overseas sales in the first year of your entry and show year-on-year growth. (N.B. The majority of last year’s winners were for this category.)
queens award for enterprise 2020

Evidence is key…you need to prove that you are leading your industry in some way. You cannot simply make this claim without compelling evidence to support it.

  1. Promoting opportunity through social mobility: You have had a social mobility programme running and can prove that your organisation has benefited from it financially. The programme needed to be something that specifically reaches out and supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds, in order to inspire and guide the best talent into their organisation and beyond. To be eligible, the programme must have been running for more than two years but it can’t be the core purpose of your business.
  2. Sustainable development: You should have achieved outstanding sustainable development for at least three years. You also have evidence of the benefits or positive outcomes of your actions or interventions. Finally, your sustainable development should align with at least one of the United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Queen’s Award Winners

One of the great aspects of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is the sheer diversity of entrants and winners. This year there were 232 awards given out to a wide range of start-up businesses through to well established multinationals in all different industry sectors. 

The Sustainable Development category for example saw wins for The Co-operative Group and Origin Coffee Ltd amongst the 31 winners, whilst the Promoting Opportunity category saw Be Onsite Limited and Building Heroes Education Foundation amongst its nine winners.

The International Trade category saw by far the most Queen’s Awards Winners announced (141) covering a wide and varied range of industries – from commissioning and technical management consultancy Logi-Tek, to Global Beauty Products Ltd a specialist cosmetics company. The Queen’s Award Innovation category had the second largest number of winners at 51, which included Qdos Contractor with its innovative IR35 Status Review tool through to smaller businesses like Little Soap Company Limited who develop a range of ethical job-specific soaps. A link to the full list of 2022 Queen’s Award winners is at the bottom of the article.

So with such exalted company the next question to ask would be…

How to apply for a Queen’s Award

There are four components to the application:

  • The main entry form: Each of the categories has a collection of plain text boxes for you to explain the details of your case for winning. These vary in length depending on the category and your answers but start from 5,500+ words up to around 7,900.
  • The financial form: This is substantial with a host of financial and business-related stat boxes. The entries vary in length depending on the category.
  • The declaration of corporate responsibility (CSR): This is a separate part of the entry that covers four questions (200-word limit on each). This is a very important part of the entry and companies not demonstrating corporate responsibility will not be eligible to win an award. Please note, the Sustainable Development category does not have a separate CSR section.
  • Signed endorsement from your accountants: This is required if you are shortlisted for an award. If any errors are picked in your application, then it can hamper your chances, so it is very important that all figures are correct before submitting.

Changes to the 2023 Queen’s Awards

If you are familiar with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, then it is important to note some key changes across all categories this year:

  • If you have won a Queen’s Award in the last two years, you are still able to apply for another, but new applicants will be given priority.
  • There is a new requirement that you have to have a good compliance record with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to apply.
  • The questions about Covid-19 have now been replaced by a question about volatile markets (Explain how your business has been responding to volatile markets in recent years).
  • Typically, you would have to submit data for your latest financial year that falls before the 6th September 2022 (the submission deadline). However, if your latest financial performance has been affected by the volatile market conditions due to factors such as Covid-19, you are now allowed to use your last financial year before the pandemic. For example, if your year-end is 31st January 2022, you can use the financial year ending 31 January 2020 for your final set of financial figures.
  • There is now a new section of the form around governance. This 200-word question differs depending on the company size.
Queens Award for Enterprise Queen Elizabeth

The open-ended sections

For the narrative sections, remember that passion and conviction is absolutely welcome, but avoid hyperboles and unsubstantiated marketing speak. Maintain high standards in terms of clarity, prioritise brevity and keep it factual.

Evidence is key here. We often find that clients need additional market research, benchmarking and/or surveys to ensure all their assertions are backed up. The key point here is that you need to prove that you are leading your industry in some way. You cannot simply make this claim without compelling evidence to support it.

How to approach your Queen’s Award entry

There are two approaches to applying:

  • Self-nomination: Visit the website, fill in the forms, and hope you did it right and can find the time to do so (it can take anything from 50 to 100 hours to complete the entry, possibly more if you are new to awards).
  • Externally-supported nomination: The same way as you wouldn’t instigate legal proceedings or submit a tax return without expert support, you would be best advised to engage expert help in filling in the substantial paperwork here.

Either way, it is essential that you engage:

  • The leaders within your business, who need to make some important decisions about how to present your case and contribute to their sections.
  • Your Finance Director, who will need to help with the numerous sections of the entry form that relate to finances.
  • Your accountants. As mentioned earlier, they will be needed later, and you can’t risk them spotting an error.
queens award sustainable development

You need to view this like an audit and a project in its own right. Do not enter into it lightly, thinking “This’ll do”. If you drop a couple of marks unnecessarily, then your chance of winning might be delayed for another year – and next year your financials might not be so favourable.

What now?

Please do not think that the 6th September deadline is ages away and you can put this off. A lot of time should be allowed to collect the facts and stats necessary to complete your form, paraphrase it, get it signed off by your leaders and accountants and then submit it.

Your first step is making decisions; firstly, answering the question “Should we apply?” then “Which options shall we select in completing the form?”  

One option taken by a number of businesses is to get their story and financials thoroughly assessed before making a commitment to complete the full application. This ‘look before you leap’ approach is very sensible and will ensure that there are no issues in terms of eligibility or scoring criteria that could mean you should not apply, or maybe leave it a year. If you get the thumbs up, then you can engage colleagues in the processes confident in the knowledge that you might indeed win an award.

If you decide to proceed with an application and have the time and expertise to manage the project and undertake the content writing in house, then click on the link below to go to the application form – and the very best of luck.

If you would like to undertake an assessment or wish to maximise your chances of winning, while minimising the disruption to your workload and workplace, then I recommend you get in touch with us here at Boost. You can contact me personally via rebecca.carpenter@boost-awards.co.uk. and either myself, our one of our team of experts will be able to help. We’ve been helping businesses enter the Queen’s Awards since 2007, and we are more experienced than any other agency in the world when it comes to these awards.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Becki.

To contact Becki personally about The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: rebecca.carpenter@boost-awards.co.uk

This is the Official Queen’s Award for Enterprise application page: https://www.queens-awards-enterprise.service.gov.uk/users/sign_up

The Queen’s Award blog has many excellent articles and information about previous Queen’s Award winners: https://queensawards.blog.gov.uk/ 

A full list of Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2022 winners can be found here:
https://www.queensawardsmagazine.com/winners/

Looking for similar awards to enter? Our free list of 4,000+ awards on our Awards List website is the largest resource of its kind.

How to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2023 

rebecca carpenter

Rebecca Carpenter

Managing Consultant, Boost

Entering The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2023

We like to call The Queen’s Award for Enterprise ‘the mother of all awards’. To win a Queen’s Award brings unparalleled prestige, exposure and recognition, with many recognising it as the highest UK official award for businesses. Anyone who could win an award from HM Queen Elizabeth II would certainly be mad not to try. Think what it would feel like to say, “We are Queen’s Award winners”.  

Inevitably such an accolade is highly competitive and requires a lot of preparation. Having written 41 winning entries for clients, I hope this article will help you decide whether you COULD win an award, and if so, HOW to do so.

The scheme

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise truly is the most credible UK award out there. It has an entry deadline of 6th September this year (note, this is a Tuesday rather than the usual Wednesday) and comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Being able to fly the logo as a flag above your office for five years and use the emblem on your marketing materials.
  • A site visit from Royal representatives to present the award.
  • Invites for a leader and frontline staff member to a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace.
  • Being given a Grant of Appointment and a commemorative crystal bowl.

All this from an award which has no entry or ceremony fees associated with it. Surely with so much on offer for so little, every business should try and win the award?

Should you apply for a Queen’s Award?

Firstly… could your business win?

Well, the awards have four categories, and each is looking for something very specific indeed. There is no limit on the number of Queen’s Award winners in each category. We have distilled criteria into four scenarios below; if any of these describe your business, then you really should consider entering.

 

  1. Innovation: You have an innovation that can be defined as an invention, design or production of goods, performance of services, marketing and distribution or after-sales support of goods or services. Whichever it is, you need to ensure it has been available on the market for at least 2 years. Companies that invented and manufactured a physical product tend to do better in this category. However, those with service innovation can (and do) still win if you are able to concretely prove that you are innovative.
  2. International trade: You are leading your sector in exporting goods or services overseas and have had three financial years of outstanding overall financial performance and growth in exports or six financial years of strong continual growth. You must have made a minimum of £100,000 in overseas sales in the first year of your entry and show year-on-year growth. (N.B. The majority of last year’s winners were for this category.) 
  3. Promoting opportunity through social mobility: You have had a social mobility programme running and can prove that your organisation has benefited from it financially. The programme needed to be something that specifically reaches out and supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds, in order to inspire and guide the best talent into their organisation and beyond. To be eligible, the programme must have been running for more than two years but it can’t be the core purpose of your business.
  4. Sustainable development: You should have achieved outstanding sustainable development for at least three years. You also have evidence of the benefits or positive outcomes of your actions or interventions. Finally, your sustainable development should align with at least one of the United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
queens award for enterprise 2020

Evidence is key…you need to prove that you are leading your industry in some way. You cannot simply make this claim without compelling evidence.

Queen’s Award Winners

One of the great aspects of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is the sheer diversity of entrants and winners. This year there were 232 awards given out to a wide range of start-up businesses through to well established multinationals in all different industry sectors. 

The Sustainable Development category for example saw wins for The Co-operative Group and Origin Coffee Ltd amongst the 31 winners, whilst the Promoting Opportunity category saw Be Onsite Limited and Building Heroes Education Foundation amongst its nine winners.

The International Trade category saw by far the most Queen’s Awards Winners announced (141) covering a wide and varied range of industries – from commissioning and technical management consultancy Logi-Tek, to Global Beauty Products Ltd a specialist cosmetics company. The Queen’s Award Innovation category had the second largest number of winners at 51, which included Qdos Contractor with its innovative IR35 Status Review tool through to smaller businesses like Little Soap Company Limited who develop a range of ethical job-specific soaps. A link to the full list of 2022 Queen’s Award winners is at the bottom of the article.

So with such exalted company the next question to ask would be…

How to apply for a Queen’s Award

There are four components to the application:

  • The main entry form: Each of the categories has a collection of plain text boxes for you to explain the details of your case for winning. These vary in length depending on the category and your answers but start from 5,500+ words up to around 7,900.
  • The financial form: This is substantial with a host of financial and business-related stat boxes. The entries vary in length depending on the category.
  • The declaration of corporate responsibility (CSR): This is a separate part of the entry that covers four questions (200-word limit on each). This is a very important part of the entry and companies not demonstrating corporate responsibility will not be eligible to win an award. Please note, the Sustainable Development category does not have a separate CSR section.
  • Signed endorsement from your accountants: This is required if you are shortlisted for an award. If any errors are picked in your application, then it can hamper your chances, so it is very important that all figures are correct before submitting.
Queens Award for Enterprise Queen Elizabeth

Changes to the 2023 Queen’s Awards

If you are familiar with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, then it is important to note some key changes across all categories this year:

  • If you have won a Queen’s Award in the last two years, you are still able to apply for another, but new applicants will be given priority.
  • There is a new requirement that you have to have a good compliance record with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to apply.
  • The questions about Covid-19 have now been replaced by a question about volatile markets (Explain how your business has been responding to volatile markets in recent years).
  • Typically, you would have to submit data for your latest financial year that falls before the 6th September 2022 (the submission deadline). However, if your latest financial performance has been affected by the volatile market conditions due to factors such as Covid-19, you are now allowed to use your last financial year before the pandemic. For example, if your year-end is 31st January 2022, you can use the financial year ending 31 January 2020 for your final set of financial figures.
  • There is now a new section of the form around governance. This 200-word question differs depending on the company size.

The open-ended sections

For the narrative sections, remember that passion and conviction is absolutely welcome, but avoid hyperboles and unsubstantiated marketing speak. Maintain high standards in terms of clarity, prioritise brevity and keep it factual.

Evidence is key here. We often find that clients need additional market research, benchmarking and/or surveys to ensure all their assertions are backed up. The key point here is that you need to prove that you are leading your industry in some way. You cannot simply make this claim without compelling evidence to support it.

How to approach your Queen’s Award entry

There are two approaches to applying:

  • Self-nomination: Visit the website, fill in the forms, and hope you did it right and can find the time to do so (it can take anything from 50 to 100 hours to complete the entry, possibly more if you are new to awards).
  • Externally-supported nomination: The same way as you wouldn’t instigate legal proceedings or submit a tax return without expert support, you would be best advised to engage expert help in filling in the substantial paperwork here.

Either way, it is essential that you engage:

  • The leaders within your business, who need to make some important decisions about how to present your case and contribute to their sections.
  • Your Finance Director, who will need to help with the numerous sections of the entry form that relate to finances.
  • Your accountants. As mentioned earlier, they will be needed later, and you can’t risk them spotting an error.
queens award sustainable development

You need to view this like an audit and a project in its own right. Do not enter into it lightly, thinking “This’ll do”. If you drop a couple of marks unnecessarily, then your chance of winning might be delayed for another year – and next year your financials might not be so favourable.

What now?

Please do not think that the 6th September deadline is ages away and you can put this off. A lot of time should be allowed to collect the facts and stats necessary to complete your form, paraphrase it, get it signed off by your leaders and accountants and then submit it.

Your first step is making decisions; firstly, answering the question “Should we apply?” then “Which options shall we select in completing the form?”  

One option taken by a number of businesses is to get their story and financials thoroughly assessed before making a commitment to complete the full application. This ‘look before you leap’ approach is very sensible and will ensure that there are no issues in terms of eligibility or scoring criteria that could mean you should not apply, or maybe leave it a year. If you get the thumbs up, then you can engage colleagues in the processes confident in the knowledge that you might indeed win an award.

If you decide to proceed with an application and have the time and expertise to manage the project and undertake the content writing in house, then click on the link below to go to the application form – and the very best of luck.

If you would like to undertake an assessment or wish to maximise your chances of winning, while minimising the disruption to your workload and workplace, then I recommend you get in touch with us here at Boost. You can contact me personally via rebecca.carpenter@boost-awards.co.uk and either myself, our one of our team of experts will be able to help. We’ve been helping businesses enter the Queen’s Awards since 2007, and we are more experienced than any other agency in the world when it comes to these awards.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Becki.

To contact Becki personally about The Queen’s Award for Enterprise
: rebecca.carpenter@boost-awards.co.uk

This is the Official Queen’s Award for Enterprise application page: https://www.queens-awards-enterprise.service.gov.uk/users/sign_up

The Queen’s Award blog has many excellent articles and information about previous Queen’s Award winners: https://queensawards.blog.gov.uk/ 

A full list of Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2022 winners can be found here:
https://www.queensawardsmagazine.com/winners/

Looking for similar awards to enter? Our free list of 4,000+ awards on our Awards List website is the largest resource of its kind.

Entering The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2020 Video 

Below is a short highlights video of our guide to entering The Queen’s Award for Enterprise. If you wish to view the full length version please complete the form and you will gain access to our comprehensive guide. In it you will hear the story of a 2019 Queen’s Award for Enterprise winner, Customer Thermometer, from co-founder Lindsay Willott. Learn about the scheme from a Deputy Lieutenant, Tim Cobb, and get advice on entering from Chris Robinson, MD and Founder of Boost Awards, the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy.

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients, from SMEs to Multinationals, win over 1,700 credible business awards, including many Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

 

(C) This article was written by Rebecca Carpenter and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants Boost Awards

Queens Award for Enterprise 2019 boost awards logo

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients, from SMEs to Multinationals, win over 1,700 credible business awards, including many Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

 

(C) This article was written by Rebecca Carpenter and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants Boost Awards

Queens Award for Enterprise 2019 boost awards logo

Looking for awards to enter?

Sign up for our free email deadline reminders to make sure you never miss an awards deadline.

Every month you will receive a comprehensive list of upcoming awards deadlines (in the next two months) organised by industry sector.

Your personal information will be used as set out in our Privacy policy. Submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we will email you the requested services. You will be required to confirm this via the email address you enter, you can opt out at ANY time.
  Leave me blank
rebecca carpenter

Would you like me to give you a call about The Queen's Awards?

"I would be happy to answer any questions you may have, give you a free honest assessment of your chances and discuss the ways we might be able to help. Please email me at rebecca.carpenter@boost-awards.co.uk with your contact details and I will be happy to arrange a call. Thanks, Becki”

www.boost-awards.co.uk

You have Successfully Subscribed!