THE Yorkshire Post has launched its 2016 Excellence in Business Awards, which honour the brightest and best enterprises in our region.
We believe that Yorkshire is the best place in Britain to do business. Over the years, the biggest names in politics and the corporate world have attended our awards dinner to praise our region’s innate economic strengths.
The awards, which were established in 2006, are open to firms of all shapes and sizes. We welcome entries from large multi-nationals, and companies that were established on a kitchen table or inside a laboratory.
The awards honour household names, and help to spot the rising stars of the corporate world. Over the last decade the awards have attracted a host of high profile speakers, including David Cameron, who attended when he was leader of the opposition, and the Chancellor George Osborne.
Other senior figures who have spoken at the awards include the former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, and Nick Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister.
A large number of captains of industry have played a prominent role at the glittering awards dinner, including Lord Rose, the former chief executive of Marks & Spencer.
Launching the awards, Greg Wright, The Yorkshire Post’s Deputy Business Editor said: “We are thrilled to launch this year’s Excellence in Business Awards, which promise to be the biggest and best ever.
“Over the last decade we’ve celebrated Yorkshire entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to our region.
“We are extremely grateful to our main sponsors, who have supported the awards since they started - DLA Piper, PwC and Yorkshire Bank.
“We’re also delighted to reveal that we’ve secured two new associate sponsors for this year’s awards; Plusnet and the Sewell Group.
“We’ve revamped the awards this year to reflect the way the world of business is changing. Many companies, and the entrepreneurs behind them, will want to enter a large number of categories.
“The winners will be revealed at a glittering awards dinner which will be held on November 4 in Leeds. We will reveal more about our guest speaker and presenter over the next few weeks.”
The awards aim to highlight the real strength in depth of our region’s business community.
Altogether, there are 14 categories. Apart from awards linked to the size of a company’s turnover, there are also categories that celebrate great exporters and the teams behind the region’s most inspiring commecial spaces.
Among the innovations this year is a new category to celebrate the champions of diversity in Yorkshire.
We welcome entries from companies that are fighting discrimination and ensuring that the contributions of every worker counts.
The awards honour outstanding employers who understand that it always pays to value your staff. Apprenticeships are also making a long over-due comeback. We’ve created a new category for firms that have a far-sighted approach to promoting apprenticeships.
There’s a new turnaround category, which salutes the professionals who are skilled at bringing firms back from the brink, and allowing them to finally achieve their potential.
The Young Business category will also celebrate smaller firms with big ambitions.
There is a special lifetime achievement, which is sponsored by The Yorkshire Post. This award will honour an individual who has consistently gone beyond the call of duty to promote our region’s business interests at home and overseas.
• Companies with a turnover over £50m. Sponsored by DLA Piper: This category honours the commercial giants which conduct business on a vast scale, but still understand the importance of training, research, innovation and long-term business planning.
• Companies with a turnover between £10m and £50m. Sponsored by PwC: This award focuses on mid-tier firms which are the real powerhouse of the region’s economy. It honours those firms which have made astute investment decisions without losing sight of the bottom line.
• Companies with a turnover up to £10m. Sponsored by Yorkshire Bank: Our region has a world class collection of SMEs. This award highlights the work carried out by smaller firms which are often enjoying rapid growth, while continuing to develop new services and products.
• Young Business. Sponsored by Plusnet: A new category focusing on rapidly growing businesses in our region. Celebrating the success of small businesses with big ambitions who are using innovation to the best effect to drive their business and/or industry forwards
• Outstanding Employer. Sponsored by University of Bradford School of Management: This award recognises those employers that truly value their staff, and reward them in a sustainable way that nurtures the company. They have a deep-rooted and integrated approach to personal development.
• Exporter: The winner of this award is really helping to drive the export-led recovery. The winner might have moved into overseas markets before the competition, and have acquired a detailed understanding of the nuances of each market.
• Entrepreneur. Sponsored by Sewell Group: This award honours a rare individual who inspires others to greatness and isn’t scared to take risks in pursuit of reward. They are leaders in their field, who are also respected by their local community.
• Technology: In this category, we are seeking a winner who harnesses technology to give their firm the edge. They are leaders, and not followers, in the technological arena. They truly understand how the world of business has changed in the 21st century.
• Turnaround: This award honours a business that is flourishing after coming back from the brink. It has far-sighted leaders who held their nerve to build a sustainable future for the company and its staff.
• Commercial space: We’re seeking a commercial project that is an inspiring use of commercial space, and also shows the real value of world class architects and designers. It can be a new build or an existing project.
• Diversity: This honours companies that value every employee, and have gone beyond the call of duty to ensure they attract and retain a workforce that reflects the diversity of British society. They are taking a pro-active approach to fighting discrimination, and reaping financial benefits as a result.
• Apprenticeship: Apprenticeships are staging a comeback, and the winner of this award has placed apprenticeships at the heart of its growth plans. They are turning the apprentices of today into the captains of industry of tomorrow.
• Leadership: Nobody forgets a great leader, and this award honours an individual who has displayed courage, tenacity and wisdom in a tough role.
• Lifetime. Sponsored by The Yorkshire Post: This award honours an individual who has made a commitment to Yorkshire business their life’s work. Their efforts have helped to make God’s Own County the best place to establish a business in the UK.