Scottish Borders Business Excellence Awards 2018

WELCOME TO THE 2018 BUSINESS AWARDS – Sponsored by RBS

Awards categories, application criteria, how to apply and the judging format.

Over the past four years the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce has been proud to organised the region’s Business Excellence Awards. Each year we have tried  to improve and simplify the application and judging procedure.

This year we have produced an Entry Guide that tells you all you need to know about the awards categories, the application criteria, how to apply and the judging format.

CATEGORIES FOR 2018

1. Tourism & Hospitality Business of the Year Award: Sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers
Criteria
: Open to all tourism and hospitality (including food/beverage establishments) businesses operating within the Scottish Borders. The judges will be looking for the business who has shown dedication to the promotion of the Borders as a tourism destination, commitment to an exceptional visitor experience, business development and collaboration as well as encouraging and nurturing the young workforce in this year of the young person.
Judging Panel: Monday 10 Sept am

2. Agricultural Business of the Year Award: Sponsored by NFU Mutual Borders
Criteria: The most efficient diversification project delivered on a low ground or marginal unit. Judges will appraise the originality, suitability and sustainability of the project.
Judging Panel: Monday 10 September pm

3. High Growth/Turnover Award: Sponsored by Davidson Chalmers
Criteria: Open to all businesses in the Scottish Borders irrespective of size or sector, this award will be presented to the business which, in the view of the judging panel, can best demonstrate successful business performance over the past 12 months. “Performance” will be judged by financial growth, profit growth, product range and return on recent financial investments in the business.
Judging Panel: Tuesday 11 September am

4. Innovation in Business Award: Sponsored by Scottish Borders Council
Criteria: Open to all businesses in the Scottish Borders irrespective of size or sector, this award will be presented to the business which, in the view of the judging panel, can best demonstrate successful use of innovation in business over the past 12 months. Judges will be looking for businesses from any sectors who can lay claim to being innovative and successful in their activities. Forward planning will also be taken into account as aspiration is a key motivator to innovation.
Judging Panel: Tuesday 11 September pm

5. Social Enterprise of the Year Award: Sponsored by Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber
Criteria: The “3rd sector” is fast becoming a major factor in the supply of regional services and this award is being given to a social enterprise body that has demonstrated a commitment to the sector in which they operate. Eligible organisations would include voluntary charities/Trusts, Community Trusts etc. The judges will be looking for evidence of stakeholder engagement and social impact in addition to innovation in developing funding sources.
Judging Panel: Wednesday 12 September am

6. Supporting Young Workforce Award: Sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce Borders
Criteria: Open to all businesses in the Scottish Borders irrespective of size or sector, this award will be presented to the business which, in the view of the judging panel, can best demonstrate it delivers on the likes of the following: diversity in age profile of workforce, equality for workforce, comprehensive learning and development programme (including a modern apprentice programme) and a mentoring programme, career development planning and succession planning.
Judging Panel: Wednesday 12 September pm

7. Manufacturer of the Year Award: Sponsored by Reiver Recruitment
Criteria: With manufacturing being of great importance to the Scottish Borders economy, this award is given to the manufacturing business which, in the opinion of the judges, has increased turnover and market share from the sale of goods. Sustainability can only be achieved through good market research and product development and the judging panel will be interested in these areas of the business activity and plans for growth in existing or new markets.
Judging Panel: Thursday 13 September am

8. Exporter of the Year: Sponsored by South of Scotland Local Export Partnership
Criteria: This award is for those businesses who demonstrate excellence in their approach to exporting in the manufacturing or service sectors. Whether you are a seasoned exporter or new to exporting your export strategy and planning is of interest to the judging panel.
Judging Panel: Thursday 13 September pm

9. Micro Business of the Year Award: Sponsored by NS 24 Ltd
Criteria
: The judges recognise that micro businesses can have many strengths but are unlikely to fully encompass all the facets of larger entities. Applicants should demonstrate their particular focus and what makes them special, maybe in respect of innovation, customer service, growth or staff – just as a few suggestions.
Judging Panel: Friday 14 September am

10. SME of the Year Award: Sponsored by Business Gateway Borders
Criteria
: Open to all businesses based in the Scottish Borders which have eleven to 249 employees and can show a strong financial performance. This award will be made to the SME that has introduced an innovation, idea or design which has made a significant contribution to the business within the last 12 months.   The judges will be interested in innovation that has improved an existing product, or an initiative that has led to the development of new products or services. The judging panel will also be interested in how the innovation is embraced within the culture of the business.
Judging Panel: Friday 14 September pm

Successfully nominated finalists will be advised of a definite time and date for interview  by 31 August 2018.
Morning interviews will take place at 9:00, 9:45, 10:30, 11:15 and 12:00.  Afternoon interviews will take place at 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3:45 and 4:30. Category applicants will all be judged on the same morning or afternoon.

JUDGING FORMAT
All applications will be screened by an independent panel who will create a shortlist of applicants who, in turn, will be invited to attend a discussion with the judging panel on a nominated day.  The judging panel will comprise two or three members, two of whom (including the Chairman) will be independent.Sponsors may choose to nominate a member of the judging panel in the category which they sponsor.

The discussion will last no more than 30 minutes and is an opportunity for the applicant to elaborate on their application, providing information on why they have entered that category and why they feel they should win.

The interviews will all be held at the Ednam House Hotel in Kelso and will be very informal.  Upon arrival, an area will be set aside for applicants to relax with tea and coffee being provided.

At the end of each category discussion the judges will have a brief discussion and award a score to each applicant.  A further shortlisting to finalist status will then be carried out with successful finalists being invited to participate in a short video interview in which they will be able to give some background to their business and explain why they should win.

The video will be filmed at the applicant’s premises at a time to be agreed but sometime at end of September/mid October. Further details will be given well in advance once the successful businesses are known.

MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS
Businesses will be allowed to apply under multiple categories BUT must be prepared to attend an interview in each category in which they are shortlisted as it is not possible to have multiple categories judged at the one time – this is to ensure the integrity of the judging process by having all shortlisted applicants being interviewed by the same set of judges.

APPLICATION FORMS

There is only one application form available HERE – in the event of multiple applications being made (please see above) separate applications are required.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS

24th of August 2018

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