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The latest from Devon

Enter your business for the UK’s top business award


The UK’s most prestigious business awards, The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, are still open for applications!

Businesses across Devon are being encouraged to apply for these renowned awards to showcase the thriving and innovative organisations the county is proud to have.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise (QAE) are designed to recognise and promote UK’s business excellence and to drive growth. Businesses from all sectors and of all sizes are welcome to apply in one of the four categories: Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity through social mobility.

Successful applicants receive many benefits such as increased prominence, brand credibility and publicity, customer recognition, as well as increased staff morale, all of which make a significant difference to the future growth of the business. This recognition has global appeal and is highly regarded by national and international organisations.

The deadline for applications is 2nd September 2016 and the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are free to enter.

The application process in simple and straightforward and all information can be found on

On winning an award businesses are invited to Buckingham Palace to a reception hosted by HM the Queen. They are presented with an engraved crystal bowl made by Devon’s own Dartington Crystal. They will be able to display the QAE emblem on their products for 5 years as well as gain global recognition and added commercial value for their organisation. Winning companies also have presentation at their premises by a Royal representative – another great promotional opportunity.

To be eligible for the Queen’s Awards an organisation must:

  • Be based in the UK
  • Be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services
  • Have at least 2 full time employees or part-time equivalents
  • Demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility.

In addition to the above criteria each category has its own specifications; further details of these are provided below.

To apply for the Innovation award you must:

  • Have a unique innovation
  • Have had your innovation on the market for at least 2 years
  • Have recovered all investments made in your innovation
  • Show outstanding commercial success as a result of your innovation.

Innovations should be in one of the following categories: Invention, design or production of goods, performance of services, marketing and distribution, after-sale support of goods or services.

To apply for the International Trade award you must:

  • Have made a minimum £100,000 in overseas sales in the first year and show year-on-year growth
  • Achieve outstanding growth in overseas earnings relative to your business size and sector
  • Show steep year-on-year growth (without dips) in overseas sales over 3 years-or substantial growth (without dips) over 6 years.

To apply for the Sustainable Development award you must either:

  • Show how your outstanding sustainable development practices have helped improve you commercial performance over 2 years
  • Show how your continuous sustainable practices have helped you improve your commercial performance over 5 years.

Achievements should be in one of the following categories: Invention, design or production goods, performance of services, marketing and distribution, after-sale support of goods or services, management of resources, relationships with people and organisations.

To apply for the Promoting Opportunity through social mobility you must:

  • Have had a social mobility programme running for more than 2 years
  • Show that the programme has had a positive impact on your commercial success over 2 or 5 years (for example, it has improved your reputation or led to savings in the business).

Your improvements should be in one of the following areas: work experience, careers advice or mentoring for young people; offering non-graduate routes such as traineeships or changing recruitment practices; or giving equal support and progression opportunities to all employees.

A full list of details can be found on the website

Devon is home to many enterprising, thriving and innovative businesses that deserve to be celebrated and acknowledged for their achievements and we hope that more organisations will pursue wider recognition for their successes through the QAE.