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Recognising a business with a focus on developing talent through training, apprenticeships, work experience, diversity and inclusion, career progression and opening opportunities to all. Judges will be looking for evidence of how policies impact on employees at all levels.

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For a business owner or leader who has had a major impact on their firm’s success, which may also be delivering benefits to other people, such as employees or the community. The winner of this award should be a positive role model for other business leaders in the region.

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For a business that has performed exceptionally across a range of measures. The winning entry should show strong commercial performance, innovation and good business practices. Judges will also be looking for a company that represents the region well on the national stage.

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Highlighting a business making a positive impact on the environment and society through its products and services, business practices, sustainability or support for communities. The winning company will show how its ESG commitment contributes to its success.

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Recognising a business that is trading with the world in a successful, innovative way, showing how firms large or small can play their part in Global Britain. The award will recognise successful exporters and companies that have a global vision.

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To recognise a medium-sized business that has taken tangible steps to increase its scale and impact. Entrants should be able to present evidence of increases in turnover and/or profit, and also how the growth journey will continue.

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Celebrating inventive thinking, product or system development and creativity in business. The award winner will be able to demonstrate how innovation has boosted company performance.

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Recognising excellence in manufacturing and production in the North East. Entrants should demonstrate efforts to improve manufacturing processes and how their activities contribute to the wider economy.


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For a young person in business, aged 25 years or less, who is having a positive impact beyond their age and experience. They may be a business owner, employee or apprentice demonstrating notable success, who may have overcome adversity to achieve, or is using their success to help others.


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To celebrate a small business, with 50 employees or less, that combines commercial success with other elements of the awards, such as customer service, social impact, innovation and developing talent. Judges will be looking for a distinctive company that has the potential to grow and make real impact.

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This award will go to a business that has been launched within the last two years (since 1 May 2022). Entrants should be able to demonstrate distinctiveness, commitment to growth and how they have overcome challenges in starting up.

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