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A band called Shakka play on stage at the Niche Business Awards ceremony at Athena venue in Leicester

14 business awards Midlands-based SMEs should apply for

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14 business awards Midlands-based SMEs should apply for

Applying for business awards will get your company noticed by leading professionals and boost your profile.

Whether you are based in the Midlands, like us, or elsewhere, there is a business award that can help you gain recognition and celebrate your success.

The application process can be daunting but it’s worth it when you receive that nomination letter or win an award.

Take a look at some of the awards available in your region and start applying. With a bit of luck, you could soon be celebrating your success with a well-deserved business award(s).


Why apply for business awards?

It’s not just about winning – it really is the taking part that counts. Business awards, just by the very act of applying, boost team morale.

Awards applications are a great way to gain feedback from judges and get your business and deserving employees in front of some top-tier business people.

Your application can lead to building professional networks too as the awards process typically consists of unique and exclusive networking opportunities.

A great tool for PR and publicity, business awards often come with ready-made press releases and social media assets to share with your audience. Thus, your company gains trust and credibility, allowing you to reach new heights of success with your customers and partners.

By entering awards, you can demonstrate the quality of your products, services, and employees to potential customers and partners.

Furthermore, winning awards can be an effective way to showcase your accomplishments and attract new business opportunities.

So, without further ado… the business awards you should be applying for are…


Business Awards perfect for Midlands-based companies

BizX Forum and Awards

Area: International

The two-day event is packed with business growth strategies from global thought leaders and experts in their field, designed to help you develop your team and scale your business. The prestigious BizX Awards ceremony, honours the accomplishments, achievements, values and contributions of businesses and their owners across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.


The Business Desk Leadership Awards

Area: East and West Midlands, Northern England created the East Midlands Leadership Awards to celebrate the people who are role models in their organisations and raise the bar for their competitors. Their most anticipated award, Leader of the Year, is not open to public nomination and is announced on the night of the ceremony.


East Midlands Chamber Business Awards

Area: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire

Another one from East Midlands Chamber, these celebrate success in the East Midlands, and those who are at the forefront when it comes to driving the UK’s ‘Engine for Growth’.


Enterprising Women’s Awards

Area: East Midlands

East Midlands Chamber hosts the Enterprising Women’s Awards for applicants working in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. The awarding categories celebrate a variety of professional levels and aspects from Apprentice of the Year to Diversity Champion.


FSB Awards

Area: UK

Celebrating the achievements and contributions of small businesses and the self-employed across the UK, the FSB Awards achieve national exposure in the media. There’s a category to suit everyone from Exporter of the Year to Family Business of the Year.


Generation Next Awards

Area: East Midlands

These awards are organised by East Midlands Chamber and celebrate the success of professionals aged 18-35. Their ceremonies usually come with a twist – one year featured street food catering, a live DJ and arcade games.

Leicestershire Law Society Awards

Area: Leicestershire

Legal businesses come in all shapes and sizes – from will writers to barristers and everything in between. These awards shine the spotlight on deserving professionals of the legal sector in Leicestershire.


Nachural Entrepreneurship Awards

Area: East Midlands

This well-attended awards ceremony awards innovation among entrepreneurs. Believing that cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit in this fast-changing world drives economic growth, they state that 65% of their guests are C-Suite, directors, founders or managing directors.


Niche Business Awards

Area: Leicestershire

OK, so we may be a little bit bias – this one is run by us. But without tooting our own horn, over 500 guests attend every year. It’s been described as a trail-blazing ceremony that has a unique theme each year, setting it apart from the more formal ceremonies. And, nominations are super quick and easy.


Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards

Area: East Midlands

Again, this is one that’s run by us too. The Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards recognises entrepreneurs working in the East Midlands. It’s a large-scale event that provides great networking opportunities to make connections with high-flying business people. They’ll also be running a Pitching Platform giving start-up businesses the chance to win £10k worth of investment (sponsored by Pattersons Commercial Law).

Saleem Arif winning an award at the Real Entrepreneurs' Awards

The Scale-Up Awards

Area: National

The Scale-Up Awards are organised by Business Leader. Open to all UK companies regardless of sector or size, the Scale-Up Awards is a dynamic celebration of business achievement and growth. Hundreds of award entries, a world-class panel of judges and a fantastic gala evening.


The Small Awards

Area: National

A newer ceremony, The Small Awards is run by Small Business Britain and started life in 2022. It comprises a list of categories on the more quirky side. They recognise business people in categories such as the High Street Hero award, Heart of Gold award, and Mission Possible award.


The StartUp Awards

Area: National

A collaboration between the founders of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, The StartUp Awards are an established national programme receiving over 5,000 applications annually. They recognise individuals who have had a great idea, spotted the opportunity and taken the risks to launch a new product or service. A less formal event, the ceremonies are usually full of colour.


The Women’s Awards

Area: East and West Midlands

A prestigious multidisciplinary awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of women, The Women’s Awards aims to raise awareness, recognise and honour the hard work and valuable contribution women of all cultures, communities, races, and beliefs, in all sectors make.



Get applying

Depending on the time of year you read this, some of these nomination deadlines may already be closed. Add next year’s dates to your diary and be sure to put yourself or someone else forward. As a small business owner, you deserve this!

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