IW Chamber Business Awards 2024
in association with WightFibre

ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED

  • Island businesses will be marking their successes in 2023 by entering for an Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Award
  • Sponsored by WightFibre, the prestigious trophies will be handed out in May next year

The categories are:

START UP BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD     

Sponsored by PC Consultants

 

This award recognises exceptional success and growth for a start up business. To qualify for this category the business must have been established during the last three years. Judges will be looking at how start-up was achieved, the strength of the business and how it has performed so far, as well as the potential for growth in the future. Demonstrate how your business has delivered outstanding results in a short time.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD  

Sponsored by Liz Earle Beauty Co.           

 

This award recognises exceptional success for a business, underpinned by an entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Judges will be rewarding outstanding growth, backed up by inspiration and vision, hard work, action and innovation. Show the judges how your entrepreneurial thinking and actions have enabled your business to make huge strides, excelling against the general trends for your sector. The activity for this entry should major on the calendar year of 2023, although it can also refer to activity from 2021 and 2022, to demonstrate how your entrepreneurial drive has steered your business.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD       

Sponsored by Red Funnel

This award recognises exceptional levels of service and customer care. Judges will be looking at evidence of how the business goes above and beyond customer expectations, with strong customer care ethos and targets. We’ll also be looking for investment in training and how high standards of customer care have contributed to business growth. Demonstrate how customer care is at the heart of your organisation and how this ethos has contributed to the overall success of your business.

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COMMUNITY AWARD   

Sponsored by Moore (South) LLP

This award recognises the success of charities, community groups, volunteer organisations and community interest groups. It is firmly aimed at “third sector” organisations. Commercial businesses that have gone above and beyond to help the wider community should consider applying for the Business Social Impact Award category.

This category is designed to showcase exceptional success by a community organisation. That success will be assessed in terms of traditional outcomes (people helped, funds raised) as well as recognising exceptional growth, sustainability and raising wider awareness. We’re looking for wide-reaching projects and campaign activity.

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EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Sponsored by Diametric Technical Ltd

This award recognises businesses that are exceptional places to work, where employees thrive and are rewarded for their success. We’re looking for examples of organisations who nurture and support their employees, with positive practices that promote good mental health and staff well-being.

We’re looking for evidence of how a business “gives back” to staff in terms wider than just salary. Judges will look for evidence of positive rewards to recognise success, as well as providing a healthy workplace environment that promotes positive physical and mental health.

You should demonstrate exceptional investment in staff and their career progression, including training and providing opportunities for personal growth. You should also show how your organisation actively listens to and reflects the views of staff, evolving to respond to changing needs and circumstances.

We’re looking for evidence that this positive approach has been good for the business holistically as well as raising levels of performance.

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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT AWARD 

Sponsored by Hillbans Pest Control

This award recognises commitment from a business to developing their staff with training. The award is open to all businesses of any size. Judges will be rewarding businesses that are investing in their teams – perhaps by taking on apprentices or by upskilling existing staff with higher level apprenticeships or further education.

We’re looking for evidence of how your business is making staff investment a key element of your growth strategy. We’re looking for examples of individual growth as well as how developing your team has enabled your business to grow. Although your entry should major on achievements in 2023, your entry may well refer to a longer running strategy for your business, particularly when reflecting on training programmes and qualifications that take several years to achieve.

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ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY AWARD 

Sponsored by IFPL

This award recognises a business that is committed to making a positive contribution to the environment and to operating sustainably. We’re looking for businesses that are conscious of the way they operate and are changing the way that they work to act on climate change. The judges will be looking for evidence of campaigns or investment with outcomes that could include reducing waste, lowering carbon footprint, new approaches to travel or commuting, changing the way customers or staff engage with the business, or investing in support for the natural environment. The impact made by your business will be judged in relation to the size of your business.

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TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AWARD

Sponsored by Lifeline Alarm Systems

This award recognises businesses that are constantly moving forward – leading by example and using technology to make their business more successful. This might be an innovative new product that sets you apart from others in your sector; it might be an innovative approach to the way that your business operates, meaning that your business is growing by employing new technology and new methods. Judges will be looking for modern businesses that are looking to the future.

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TOURISM AND LEISURE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD 

Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight

This award recognises the strong performance of a business in the tourism sectors. This award will recognise a visitor attraction, entertainment venue, spa, fitness / wellness provider, leisure space or Island event that has enjoyed an exceptional year. This category is designed to showcase businesses who operate as a specific destination, attraction or event, providing entertainment or a leisure service. Hospitality or accommodation providers should look to enter the Hospitality Award.

Judges will be looking for distinctive high-quality products that enhance the Island’s offer to visitors as well as residents.

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HOSPITALITY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Cherry Godfrey

This award recognises the strong performance of a business in the hospitality sector. This award will recognise an accommodation provider or a restaurant, pub, café or other dining venue that has enjoyed an exceptional year. Judges will be looking for distinctive high quality customer experiences that enhance the Island’s offering. They will also be looking for exceptional business performance within this sector.

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MANUFACTURING AND EXPORT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD    

Sponsored by GKN Aerospace Cowes

This award recognises an Island based business that excels in the global marketplace. Judges will be looking for evidence of exceptional performance, with strong data and innovative products. Show the judges how your product(s) – which could be anything from food and drink to high tech or shipbuilding – have a reach outside the UK and help to put the Island on the global map.

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CREATIVE IMPACT AWARD

Sponsored by Medina Publishing

This new award recognises our Island’s flourishing creative sector and the impact that quality and imaginative content can deliver to business and the wider community.

This award category is aimed at businesses that can show how innovative and outstanding creativity produces remarkable results on the Island and wider afield. The creative content can be in any form – delivered through social media, the web, film, gaming, broadcast, performance, theatre, musical productions, publications, advertising, fashion, art, PR campaigns and design.

You might be a creative agency bursting with ideas, where you can clearly demonstrate the impact your work has had on the reach and bottom line of your client(s). Alternatively you might be a business or organisation that is using creative content to reach the wider community – spotlighting diversity, offering creative experiences to new audiences, supporting new voices, and nurturing the Island’s artistic community.

There’s a strong emphasis here on the impact of the creative work. This isn’t simply a “best in show” arts award, although obviously the quality of the product and content is very important. We’re crucially looking for evidence of how the creative work has reached a wider audience and impacted on customers and the community. It’s the Creative Impact award – and your entry should showcase how your creativity has increased profits, awareness, stakeholder engagement, participation or donations. This isn’t a “book of the year” or “best event” type of award – it’s all about recognising how compelling content can be transformative.

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BUSINESS SOCIAL IMPACT AWARD   

Sponsored by WightFibre

This award recognises the contribution that a business has made to the wider community. We’re looking for businesses that are choosing to make a positive contribution and to help others, outside of their typical commercial operations. This could be by supporting charities, community projects, working with volunteers or leading awareness campaigns.

This award is aimed at businesses of any size and sector – the impact made by your business will be judged in relation to the size of your business.

This award recognises a commercial business that is doing things that are non-commercial and designed to “give back”. If you’re a charity, not-for-profit organisation, volunteer group or community interest group (or similar) then please consider applying for the Community Award category instead.

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GROWTH BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD

Sponsored by WRS Systems

This award recognises exceptional growth from an Island business. Judges will be looking for significant and sustained expansion in a business of any size.

Demonstrate how your business is surging ahead – against your sector and your own previous levels of growth. We’re looking evidence of increased profit, market share, numbers of staff, business investment and wider impact.

Your entry will be judged relative to the size of your business and should include clear year-on-year comparisons. You should also demonstrate why your growth has been remarkable for a business of your size and sector.

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MICRO BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD       

Sponsored by Gurit

This award recognises an outstanding micro business in any sector, employing up to 9 staff.

Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance, enterprise and sustainable growth for your business. You should also show why your business is exceptional – compared to other similarly sized businesses and other organisations in your sector. Judges will also be looking at future strategy and potential for further growth.

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SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD        

Sponsored by Wightlink

This award recognises outstanding small businesses in any sector, employing 10 to 50 staff.

Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance, enterprise and sustainable growth for your business. You should also show why your business is exceptional – compared to other similarly sized businesses and other organisations in your sector. Judges will also be looking at future strategy and potential for further growth.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

The following awards will be made by the Chamber and Judging Panel:

MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD  
This award, chosen by the judges from across the Chamber membership, is presented to a member that has provided exceptional support to the Chamber throughout the year with no personal gain for themselves or their business other than supporting the wider business community.
IW CHAMBER PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION   
This award goes to a business organisation or individual to represent outstanding achievement which has also helped the Island’s economy to grow.
IW CHAMBER BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD  
The judging panel has made a selection from amongst this year’s award entrants and winners to receive the overall title of the Isle of Wight Business of the Year.

Awards FAQ

Can I enter for an award?

Yes. Your business must be based on the Island and must have completed your first full year of trading.

Is it free to enter?

Yes. Any business can enter in two categories for free. Subsequent entries will be charged at £110 plus VAT per entry for IW Chamber members or £220 plus VAT for non-members.

Do I have to be a Chamber member?

No. The awards are open to any Island based business.

When do the awards open?

Entry criteria and application forms will be available from Thursday 30th November 2023.

What is the closing date?

Entries must be submitted by 23.59pm on Wednesday 31st January 2024. No entries will be accepted after this time.

Will this closing date be extended?

No. This date and time are final and any entries received after this time will not be included.

What time period should my entry cover?

Entries should reflect activity in the calendar year of 2023, from January 1st to December 31st 2023. Entries should reflect activity within this time frame although year on year and historical comparisons can be included to show growth and scale.

My business is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Will that help me win an award?

Your award entry will be judged on your activity within the time frame of the awards not the lifetime of your business.

Can I email or post my entry?

All entries must be submitted via email and to the awards@iwchamber.co.uk email address.

When will the nominations be announced?

A shortlist will be published in March when tickets will go on sale for the glittering ceremony, held at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday 10th May 2024.

When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced and presented with their award at the ceremony at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday 10th May 2024.

Will you acknowledge receipt of my entry?

We will aim to acknowledge receipt of your submission via email within 4 working days.

Who are the judges and who will see my entry?

The judging panel is comprised of impartial business experts. Some are Island based, others on the mainland and some are internationally based. Your business will be judged wholly on your entry and the information that you provide. Your entry will be treated in confidence.

What about additional material?

An award winning entry will tell a strong story well, with supporting evidence to back up the claims. Facts and figures are important but so is context – don’t forget to explain the background to your numbers and the way that your business operates. Keep things in the relevant context – the Isle of Wight business community, your sector in the UK, the global market etc.

Include photographs if necessary or they would help the judges understand what you do. Supporting materials can be submitted but your entry should stand up on its own. Make sure that all the key facts and evidence are in your main entry. Supporting material should provide further detail if required. You can include website links within your entry and this can include links to video material (eg Youtube).

If you are supplying additional material, please do so as a PDF or limited selection of documents, attached to the same email as your application form. All submissions should be less than 10MB in total for your email.

How is the shortlist put together?

The judging panel will assess all valid entries. Submissions that are incomplete or exceed the word limit or any other entry requirements will not be judged. Shortlists for each category and the number of nominations will reflect the quality of submissions within each individual category. The judge’s decision is final.

Can I receive feedback on my entry?

Judges feedback will be available on request after the awards ceremony on the 10th May 2024.

Can I get help with my entry?

The strongest advice we can give you is to read the entry requirements for each category thoroughly and supply the evidence required. Remember that the judges may have no prior knowledge of your business or your activity. This is your opportunity to tell your story and show them, with evidence, what makes your business so exceptional.

Island Business March / April 2024

Island Business March / April 2024

Events

march

01mar7:30 am9:00 amBusiness Breakfast at Liz Earle

11mar9:00 am4:00 pmEmergency First Aid at Work Course – Delivered by Good Skills Training

18mar9:00 am12:30 pmFire Marshal Course – Delivered by Good Skills Training

20mar9:30 am4:00 pmRed Funnel Business Start Up Course

27mar9:00 am11:00 amNetworking Brunch at The Garlic Farm

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