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How entering awards could make your business

Another potential source of finance

Another source of funding for small business comes in the shape of awards. Not only do such schemes offer the usual incentives of prestige and publicity, as well as excellent networking opportunities for the winners, but they also dole out some real cash as well.

Awards are given out by whole range of organisations from government agencies to private companies and though they are usually handed out for projects which have been completed some do involve work planned to commence in the near future. And while they probably shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to grants and soft loans they’re still a good source of support and opportunity for business.

Applying Each award will have its own specific entry requirements and criteria but in virtually all cases businesses must show why they should be rewarded for their work over the past year. These could be worthy for a number of reason such as developing and training staff to overcoming setbacks and difficulties.

Often the major schemes, such as Shell LiveWire and Ernst & Young’s entrepreneur of the year, have regional heats, though still with significant rewards, before leading to an overall final. And unlike grants and loans, award schemes tend not to favour one particular sector and often make an effort to encapsulate all types of firms.

In most cases it will be the business which will nominate itself for an award and only in the minority of instances the organisation offering the prize pick the nominations. Most are free to enter and require only a little application so what are you waiting for!

Award schemes Here are just some of the award schemes available

Shell LiveWire awards

E-commerce

National Business awards

Parcelforce Small Business Awards

Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative

Orange Small is Beautiful Awards

Franchisor of the Year

HSBC Startup Stars

Business in the Community Award for Excellence

Queens Awards for Enterprise

British Small Business Champion

National entrepreneur of the year award

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