What do Bill Gates, Revolut, and Innocent Drinks have in common? UK’s longest running business awards programme is back

The Amazon Growing Business Awards are back. Nominations are open from now until 14 September. Here's how you can put your business forward.

Bill Gates is known for many things, but attending business awards ceremonies isn’t one of them. Yet he was one of the VIPs who graced the Growing Business Awards over the years, along the likes of Gordon Brown and Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Now the awards programme is in its 20th year, and UK’s ambitious growing businesses have the opportunity to put themselves forward to join the ranks of some of the most disruptive British SMEs of all time.

Over the past two decades, winners of the Growing Business Awards have gone on to build multi-million pound businesses that have put British entrepreneurship on the map. The awards have celebrated remarkable disruptive businesses, with past winners including Innocent Drinks, Go Ape, Zoopla and Fever-Tree.

Nominate your business for the Amazon Growing Business Awards 2018Nominate your business: The Amazon Growing Business Awards 2018
Nominations for the Amazon Growing Business Awards are now officially open. Now is your chance to put forward a business that you think has shown exceptional growth in up to 18 categories.

“At Amazon, we are passionate about supporting growing businesses – large or small, urban or rural, up and down the country,” says Doug Gurr, UK country manager, Amazon.

“ launched in 1998, and 20 years on, tens of thousands of SMEs across the UK have joined us in innovating to improve customer choice and experience. We look forward to shining a spotlight on the best of British business.”

This year, the event will be returning to the Brewery, London, and will take place on 28th November. You have until 14th September to nominate.

“We’re thrilled to once again be supporting the Amazon Growing Business Awards – celebrating the stories of the brightest scale-up firms who are making a substantial contribution to the UK economy. SMEs make up 99% of the UK’s private sector businesses and the majority of UK employment.” – CBI Innovation Director, Tom Thackray.

The winners circle

Previous winners have grown to become some of the UK’s most recognisable and successful brands, including Revolut, Go Ape, Innocent Drinks, Betfair and Fever-Tree. Signifying the importance of these awards and the value of the SME sector to the UK economy as a whole.

At last year’s awards, London-based makers of nut butter, Pip & Nut, won the award for Consumer Business of the Year. Since winning, Pip & Nut has gone onto further success by launching across 800 Tesco stores in May 2018, meaning Pip & Nut products are now stocked across the four largest UK supermarkets – Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda. Pip & Nut also raised a further £1m investment in April 2018, allowing the business to accelerate export plans.

“I was thrilled to win the Consumer Business of the Year Award last year, amid such a strong set of dynamic brands on the final shortlist,” Pip Murray, founder of Pip & Nut, says.

“At a time when consumer experience and satisfaction are outmost importance, I’m pleased to see this category called out in its own right for a dedicated award.” – Pip Murray, founder, Pip & Nut.

“Over the past year I have met so many fellow entrepreneurs who take pride in delivering a quality consumer product or service. So I’m sure there is no shortage of excellent consumer businesses deserving of accolade at this year’s Amazon Growing Business Awards.”

The Amazon Growing Business Awards have a passionate and dedicated alumni network of finalists and winners, many of whom have gone on to become internationally renowned success stories.

People, planet, profit: A new awards category celebrates positive impact

A new category has been added to the mix for 2018; the Bridges Positive Impact Award.

The award is backed by Bridges Fund Management, a specialist sustainable and impact investor, and has been introduced to recognise growing businesses that put people and planet alongside profit.

“Over the last 15 years, we’ve seen first-hand that business – powered by the right insight and investment – has a remarkable ability to drive positive social and environmental change,” says Philip Newborough, managing partner of Bridges.

“Around the world, there’s a growing recognition that this is the future of business. We hope that the new Positive Impact award will highlight some of the amazing British companies that are helping to bring this new paradigm to life – and making the world a better place in the process.”

2018 categories open for entries

  1. The Santander Growing Business of the Year: Larger Company (Turnover £50m+)
  2. The Amazon Business Growing Business of the Year: Mid-sized Company (Turnover £25m-£50m)
  3. The Santander Growing Business of the Year: Smaller Company (Turnover £10m – £25m)
  4. Growing Business of the Year: Smaller Company (Turnover up to £10m)
  5. The ECI Partners B2B Business of the Year
  6. The ECI Partners Consumer Business of the Year
  7. The Amazon Web Services Digital Business of the Year
  8. Family-Owned Business of the Year
  9. Entrepreneur of the Year
  10. The Amazon Marketplace Export Champion of the Year
  11. Creative Industries Business of the Year
  12. Innovator of the Year
  13. Micro Business of the Year
  14. Rural Business of the Year
  15. Young Company of the Year
  16. Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  17. The Triumph over Adversity Award
  18. The Bridges Positive Impact Award

The Amazon Growing Business Awards are headlined by Amazon, sponsored by Bridges Fund Management, ECI and Santander, and supported by CBI, the UK Department for International Trade, and Real Business.

Nominations for the awards are open now. You can put your business forward by submitting your application here.

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About Author

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Real Business, and its sister publication for micro businesses, Business Advice. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to write about management strategies, entrepreneurs, growth companies, and diversity and inclusion.

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