Dozens of British firms are in line for a Queen’s enterprise award today to recognise their achievements in international trade, innovation and sustainable development.
The award can provide a massive boost to ambitious firms with robust growth targets. One winner last year was EnergyNet, which organises a global portfolio of investment conferences focusing on the power and industrial sectors across Africa.
Managing director Simon Gosling told City A.M. how he set the firm the target of winning the award when he took over the reins four years ago – back then there were three employees, now there are 22.
“In our business – where we look at the impact of power generation on economic development on job creation in Africa – we can say actually, from the work that we’ve been doing, we were recognised by the Prime Minister and Her Majesty. That tweaked a lot of interest and people took us an awful lot more seriously,” he said.
“In terms of increasing our value proposition, the purpose of our business and people thinking we’re something more than just a conference company doing things for the sake of making money, this was a real recognition that they could buy into.”
The award also helped Gosling to attract the best talent. “When we were recruiting, it was something that really differentiated us so now we’ve actually used it. It’s enabled us to recruit far better than we could two years ago.”
On the list of this years winners was lighting company Original BTC – one of City A.M./Mishcon de Reya’s Leap 100 companies. The Leap 100 list is a select group of high growth UK businesses.
“Winning a Queen’s Award is a huge honour for the entire team – it’s the highest accolade a company can receive in the UK. We’ve worked hard to produce high quality, well-designed, globally competitive lighting to show how successful British design and manufacturing can be,” said the company’s founder Peter Bowles, who recently had a visit from Prime Minister David Cameron.
This year there is a total of 141 business winners: 105 for international trade, 24 for innovation and 12 for sustainable development. Of those 21 are based in the capital.
SOME OF THIS YEAR’S LONDON WINNERS
Avanti connects people wherever they are – in their homes, businesses, in government and on mobiles. Through the HYLAS satellite fleet and more than 150 partners in 118 countries, the network provides ubiquitous internet service to 27 per cent of the world’s population.
■ Avanti employs a workforce of 200 people – 73 of whom are multi-lingual – from 32 different countries speaking a total of 27 languages.
■ The company is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim)
■ Avanti headquarters are in London, but it has significant operations in Cornwall, Cyprus, Germany and the US.
WINE & SPIRIT EDUCATION TRUST
WSET is an educational body that runs run wine and spirit based courses throughout the world. It is headquartered in London but its courses are available in 18 languages, across 60 countries. Every sommelier or wine expert worth their salt will have one of its qualifications, and it also target courses at keen consumers too.
■ WSET was founded in 1969. Last academic year 56,215 people worldwide sat for an internationally recognised WSET qualification.
■ In the past decade the proportion of candidates taking their qualifications outside the UK has grown from 37 per cent to over 75 per cent. Candidate numbers also have quadrupled in that time.
WHAT ARE THE QUEEN’S ENTERPRISE AWARDS?
Announced each year on 21 April – the Queen’s birthday – they have been in place in one form or another since 1966, and now comprise of three awards for companies and one for individuals. In choosing the winners of the prize, the Queen is advised by the Prime Minister, who is assisted by an advisory committee including the government, industry and commerce, and trade unions. Successful organisations may fly the Queen’s Award flag at their principal premises and are entitled to use the emblem on their stationery, advertising and goods. A corporate award is valid for five years. Additionally, the Queen hosts a reception at Buckingham Palace for representatives of the winning companies.