There are ten categories to choose from and you can enter a maximum of three categories per business.
Please read through the category descriptions below, select the category you wish to enter from the list, then click ENTER NOW. You'll need to register and set up your account the first time you do this.
Registering your account
When registering, you will receive an email which will have a click-through link and a validation code to validate your account. You will need to complete this step before you can start your nomination. If you do not receive the validation email please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Completing your entry
You can save draft entries and return to edit them as often as you wish before submitting. All you need to do is click on the YOUR ACCOUNT tab on the menu banner and this will take you through to your dashboard where you will find all your draft entries and submitted entries.
When you have finished writing your entry and you are ready to submit, you'll need to agree to the terms and conditions then click the COMPLETE button at the bottom of the page. If your entry is still in draft, you will need to click MOVE TO BASKET at the top of the entry before you can click the COMPLETE button.
If you forget your password, please use the reset password link on the login page.
IMPORTANT INFO - PLEASE READ:
- Maximum word counts are shown below the entry box for each question.
- A business can be submitted into a maximum of three categories however please tailor your entry according to the category in order to meet judges requirements.
- Sponsoring companies are not permitted to enter the category they are sponsoring.
- Entries can be submitted by the business directly or by a third party (agent, client etc)
- Successful nominations will be notified following the judging session in April
Apprenticeships, Training and Skills Award
This award recognises businesses that have implemented a successful apprentice, training or skills programme as an integral part of developing their workforce providing opportunities for the younger generation in the area.
Judges will be looking for an ongoing commitment to skills and training, examples of how the training or apprentice scheme is used to develop the workforce, evidence of the benefits apprentices and trainees bring to their business, and for businesses that are taking a leading role in improving skills levels in the region.
High Growth and Ambition Award
This award is open to companies of all sizes but they must have been trading for over 12 months. The category is designed to recognise a company that has demonstrated rapid growth over the last 12 months. You will need to demonstrate an increase in sales, profit, market share, headcount, perhaps a move into bigger premises or new premises in another region. Judges will be looking for organisations demonstrating exceptional levels of growth for its size and sector with a solid business plan for the year ahead.
Innovation and Technology Award
This award identifies and rewards companies which have launched the most innovative new product/service or who may have built or embraced new technology to drive their company forward in the calendar year 2021.
Judges will consider all aspects of an innovative new product/service, its USP, the potential for growth/competition and profitability. They’ll also be looking for companies building fantastic digital products and services or broader companies who have deployed digital solutions to overcome significant business challenges.
Newcomer of the Year
We're looking for the best business start-ups so this award is open to companies in the region that have been in operation for a maximum of three years as of 31 December 2021.
Judges will pay particular attention to the origins of the company and how it started out, the company’s business plan and indications of how it has been pursued so far, what differentiates the company’s products/services from their competitors, managerial and financial performance, notable achievements to date, and potential for growth.
Small Business Award
This award is open to companies in the region that normally employ no more than 50 full time staff and which have a proven record of success.
The judges will pay particular attention to managerial and financial performance, potential for growth, evidence of commitment and imagination in the product or service, and what differentiates the company’s products/services from their competitors.
Diversity and Inclusion Award
This award recognises businesses for harnessing a truly diverse workforce that excels in their commitment to equality and inclusion across all strands of diversity. The category will cover excellence in all areas of diversity including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religion.
The judges will be looking for a vanguard in business that can demonstrate an effective inclusion and diversity strategy that goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee wellbeing and engagement. Entries must demonstrate how the business has gone above and beyond their corporate social responsibility, shown commitment and dedication to equality, can exhibit positive results on the organisational culture and prove that they are a true champion of diversity and inclusion.
Heart of the Community Award
This award celebrates excellence in corporate, social and ethical activity, and seeks to identify those organisations which best exemplify the social and community spirit which is at the core of North East culture.
The judges will pay particular attention to evidence of contribution to the overall well-being of the community, its environment and general quality of life. They will also look for projects that can demonstrate working in partnership with their local neighbours and community, projects which contribute to the economic regeneration of the region, and using positive influence to support suppliers and other partners to adopt best environmental, workplace and community practice.
This category recognises and highlights companies that are demonstrating manufacturing excellence with the importance on innovation, design, quality, efficiency, sales flair – and all the other skills needed to be a manufacturing winner.
Judges will be looking for examples of how the business has adapted to the changing marketplace, its strategy for the future, sustainability, investment in people and equipment, manufacturing innovation, sales performance and growth prospects, and markets served. Examples of overcoming manufacturing difficulties, driving technology and productivity development and competing in tough market places will be relevant to the judges.
This award recognises professional service organisations that have demonstrable strength in service excellence, service differentiation, business growth and innovation.
Judges will be looking to identify a service company that has achieved and exceeded quantifiable business goals while delivering a market leading service to their customers.
Company of the Year
The award recognises outstanding performances by highly successful North East businesses throughout the year.
The judges are looking for businesses that have that something special, are admired throughout the business community and from which other businesses can all learn. Previous winners have been characterised by excellence in their product or service; achieved a strong or growing market share in their chosen niche; successfully turned around a dying or slow moving company; used innovative approaches; set up a major new operation bringing it into production at a high level of efficiency; successfully pioneered new markets; re-aligned the business to ensure survival in a highly competitive market.