Start-up and SME Business Awards

Whether you’re a start-up or an SME, winning business awards can hugely enhance your business growth.

As a small company, it may seem daunting to enter awards, especially when you see big brands on the list of past winners – but all businesses have to start somewhere! Don't be put off, there are awards out there specifically designed to celebrate and recognise the outstanding achievements of SMEs and Start-ups.

There is no time like the present to begin entering awards, and the whole process of entering awards is a fantastic opportunity to analyse your business. You will enjoy valuable networking, get yourself in front of an audience of potential customers, and some awards even provide benchmark reports as feedback which you can use to improve for the future.

So it’s time to lose the “we’re too small to compete” attitude and start focussing on the benefits of winning!

How to start winning awards

If you don’t enter the right business awards competition, you won’t have any chance of success, no matter how big or small your business.

You need to play to your strengths and think about your business goals. A good place to start is with an awards strategy that highlights the awards you should be entering over the year, and which categories are most suited to your business.

To get you started, here's our top 6 SME and Startup Awards.

Top Start-up and SME Awards

Federation of Small Business Awards

With a cash prize for winners and a badge that shows credibility, the FSB awards are very popular across the UK, these awards bring benefits to members and non-members alike.

Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards

A big awards name award with a big brand audience, but with a lot of love and support for small businesses. The Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards dedicate a category especially to small businesses and new entrepreneurs.

British Small Business Awards

The BSB Awards celebrate the best of Britain’s small businesses, with an annual ceremony taking place in London.

Chamber Business Awards

Run by The British Chamber of Commerce, this is a great award for gaining local business support, allowing you to enter regionally before winners compete for a national title. Free to enter for members and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a Chamber member to win.

Growing Business Awards

The awards do exactly what they say on the tin – champion the hottest growing businesses in the UK. With inspirational talent on the judging panel, your business could get a fantastic audience of potential clients, investors, and partners just by entering the awards.

More awards opportunities for small businesses

Don’t forget to look into the brilliant business awards run by your local paper, magazines and business networks. These are especially beneficial to companies with a local customer base and can gain you some valuable PR.

You could also have a look at our top picks for Women in Business Awards and our top 10 Entrepreneur and Business Leaders Awards.

When you're ready to enter and want some winning support, contact us, and we will help you win the valuable business awards you need to grow!

Have a look at our bespoke business awards services and fill out the enquiry form below to book your free consultation with Awards Expert Donna O’Toole.


“I have been working with Donna over the last few years and I have to say, I have found her to be the consummate professional, always keeping her promises, a great marketer and PR guru.”

Neil Skehel, CEO, Awards International

“Donna helped us to understand all the different elements of the Queen’s Award application process. She took the stress away and helped us to see how what we considered business as usual was, in fact, incredibly important to our application.”

Simon Murie, CEO, SwimTrek, The Queen's Awards for Enterprise Winner 2017

“Donna’s masterclass gave me a fantastic insight into what it takes to win awards. I found the training extremely useful, as this is something that can be carried forward and used on a day-to-day basis.”

Pauline Saunders, Head of Events, The Learning & Performance Institute

“Donna’s unique skill-set and naturally engaging advice have transcended these award wins, ultimately helping us to identify and shape the USPs of the business, thus influencing our strategy, proposition, and marketing.”

Alex Marsh, Close Brothers Retail Finance

“Donna’s guidance and advice was invaluable when preparing our submission for several awards this year. She helped us to lay out the detail in a way that ensured judges could clearly see compelling evidence aligned to judging criteria, challenged our thinking and helped us to ensure that nothing was left to chance. Time spent with Donna is time very well invested!”

Moyra Smith, Strategic Business Manager, Mercuri International


Some of the awards that have recognised our client's great work and entries:

Partner logos 1500x300 NEW 1

More Awards Lists