WINNERS of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise are encouraging fellow businesses to fly the flag for Northamptonshire by putting themselves forward.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are seen as the most prestigious awards for businesses in the UK, representing a globally recognised royal seal of approval.
A total of 14 businesses across Northamptonshire have picked up awards in the last ten years, and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson, invited winners to Rockingham Castle to celebrate their achievements.
Mr Saunders Watson said: “Achieving a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is an incredible honour. It has been a great pleasure to meet representatives from a number of the Northamptonshire winners who have received awards over the last decade and to hear what benefits it brought them.
“This has been a very difficult period for many businesses but those challenges have also brought opportunities for innovation. These awards offer a chance to celebrate that innovation and the wealth of business talent we have in Northamptonshire.”
First presented in 1966 as The Queen’s Award to Industry, the awards programme has evolved over the years and today rewards businesses that demonstrate outstanding achievement in one of four categories: International Trade; Innovation; Sustainable Development; and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).
Winners are invited to a Royal reception and can fly the Queen’s Awards flag at their premises and use the emblem on marketing materials. The award also helps to raise profile and boost staff morale.
Reusable nappy expert Bambino Mio received its Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade from HRH The Princess Royal in April at the company’s offices in Brixworth.
The award recognised the brand’s outstanding international growth as well as its ongoing efforts to make reusable nappies and associated sustainable products commercially acceptable and available worldwide.
Founder and managing director Guy Schanschieff said: “Being crowned with this award is a great for all stakeholders involved and really boosts team morale. At first the entry process can appear daunting but actually it is very straightforward and easy to understand, plus the benefits from winning make it all worth it.
“We are proud to share the fact that we are a royally approved business and we have had some wonderful exposure as a result.”
Farrington Oils, which produces cold pressed rapeseed oil products from its base in Hargrave, won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2021 for its sustainable farming practices. It became the world’s first food producer to be certified as both carbon and plastic neutral.
“Receiving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year was a huge honour for all of us at Farrington Oils,” said marketing co-ordinator Gina Lewis. “The environment is at the heart of everything we do so winning for Sustainable Development meant a lot.”
The application process takes time because it is so thorough, she added. “But the time spent was definitely worth it. We were so proud and excited to win and that excitement continued when we were featured on regional TV to share our news.”
Entries are now open for the 2022 awards and Northamptonshire’s previous winners are keen to encourage as many businesses as possible to enter. Businesses can enter in more than one category if they wish. Entry is free and the awards are valid for five years.
Mr Schanschieff said: “It is important to stress that this is not just open to big established businesses. This is an incredible opportunity for SMEs to be rewarded for their efforts and will allow them to stand out from their competition.”
Find out more about the 2022 Awards and apply online before noon on September 8 by visiting www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise