10th January 2019 Why the search is on for the UK’s ultimate small businesses and the self-employed

Why the search is on for the UK’s ultimate small businesses and the self-employed

The best small businesses and self-employed will be identified as a huge UK-wide search begins on 10 August 2018 by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). From exporters to start-ups, from digital innovators to green businesses, and from scale-ups to the best young entrepreneurs, FSB says it is vital to recognise a sector that makes up 99.3% of all private sector businesses.FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Small businesses and the self-employed from across the UK contribute so much to our economy and our communities. The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards recognise the best, most innovative and most determined of these, from every sector, industry and background.

“This is why we choose to keep entries to the awards free, and have them open to all smaller businesses and self-employed people, whether they are current FSB members, or not. The entrepreneurial spirit in the UK is alive and well, with small businesses now numbering an incredible 5.7m. Everyone should help us to celebrate that.”

Entries are expected to exceed 2,000 as the number of self-employed people continues to rise and confidence amongst the sector is at its highest level for a year. More businesses are recognising the value of industry awards as part of their business plans.

What benefits can entering for a business award bring?

Business can benefit hugely from winning an industry award. Even being shortlisted as an area or national finalist creates added value to the business and its brand. Winning or being a finalist for a credible and highly regarded business award enhances your business’ reputation amongst stakeholders including suppliers, customers and the community. The award badge can be added to email signatures and website.

The entry process can be rewarding in itself, allowing a time to reflect on what has been achieved over the past year. It’s also a good news story. Local and industry media can be told get coverage in newspapers and broadcast media. If you win a national award you could benefit from national press coverage too.

Having fresh, engaging and newsworthy content on social media channels is valuable. Entering awards gives a ready-made social media campaign, from announcing that you’re applying, through to sharing the award ceremonies. Remember to include photos where you can, and use the official awards hashtag to reach a wider audience – FSB has over 56,000 followers on Twitter alone.

Award ceremonies provide a fantastic opportunity to create new face-to-face business contacts, both regionally and nationally. Networking at a prestigious event like that is really enjoyable as well as useful.
Last year’s FSB Small Business of the Year 2018 winner was scale-up superfood brand Creative Nature from Surrey. CEO Julianne Ponan said: “We’ve gained national and international recognition from winning the award, including loads of media coverage. I would definitely recommend other businesses enter in 2019 as it gives your business so much credibility being a national award, even if you don’t win it’s such a great networking opportunity.”

Twelve area finals will be taking place between January and April 2019 across the UK, with the UK national final taking place on 23 May 2019 at Evolution Battersea, London. Here, 10 UK category award winners will be announced from which the FSB Small Business of the Year 2019 will be chosen. To enter, please visit fsbawards.co.uk

Media contact:
Kerry Curtis, FSB PR manager Kerry.curtis@fsb.org.uk