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The Queen's Award for Enterprise

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious accolades for businesses in the United Kingdom. The winners are announced each year on 21st April, Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday. The process is highly competitive: in 2012 a total of 862 businesses applied and 209 awards were granted.

Generally, the awards are presented either by visiting member of the Royal family or, more usually, by the Lord-Lieutenant at the winners' own business premises.

The Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex presenting a 2012 Queen's Award for Innovation to Turbosound of Partidge Green.

The Lord-Lieutenant presenting a 2012 Queen's Award for Innovation to Turbosound of Partidge Green in 2012.

Winners receive a range of benefits including worldwide recognition and extensive press coverage. Each Award is valid for five years and winners are also invited to a reception with HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The  awards for outstanding achievement by UK businesses fall into three distinct categories:

  • International Trade
  • Innovation
  • Sustainable Development

Businesses can enter more than one award category as long as they meet the criteria for each.

International trade

You must be able to show that your business has achieved substantial growth in overseas earnings and in commercial success for your business size and sector. You should be able to show either:

  • outstanding achievement in international trade over 3 years
  • continuous achievement in international trade over 6 years

Innovation

You must be able to show that your business has substantially improved in areas of performance and commercial success. You should be able to show either:

  • outstanding innovation, continued over at least 2 years
  • continuous innovation and development over at least 5 years

Achievements are assessed for:

  • invention, design or production
  • performance of services and products
  • marketing and distribution
  • after-sale support of goods or services.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is any activity which ‘ensures a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come’. You should be able to show either:

  • outstanding advance in sustainable development over at least 2 years
  • continuous achievement in sustainable development over 5 years

Achievements must be in either:

  • invention, design, production, performance, marketing, distribution, after sales support of goods or services
  • management of resources or people, or of relationships with other organisations (or their representatives)

How the winners are decided

Each category has a separate judging panel which makes a recommendation to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee. The committee then makes a final recommendation to Her Majesty The Queen, who decides the winners.

Winners are announced on 21 April each year. They receive a grant of appointment, a presentational item and an invitation from Her Majesty the Queen to a reception at Buckingham Palace. Awards last for 5 years.

Who can enter

To enter any of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise categories, a business must:

  • be based in the UK — including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
  • be a self-contained enterprise which markets its own products or services
  • be under its own management, with at least 2 full-time employees or part-time equivalents
  • be able to demonstrate commercial success

How to enter

Businesses must submit their applications online: click here for the registration page.

Guidance notes

You can download guidance notes and sample entry forms from the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise website.

What you need to know

Read the background notes for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise (download).

Submit your entry between 21 April and the last working day of September every year.

There is no entry fee.

Queen’s Awards Helpline

Telephone: 020 7215 6880 or email: info@queensawards.org.uk.

Or visit www.queensawards.org.uk

The Queen's Awards LinkedIn forum provides information, advice and debate. To join visit LinkedIn group.

Further information is also available from the online Queen's Award for Enterprise Magazine.

YouTube video of the Queen's Award presentation to Turbosound

The Queen's Award for Enterprise logo