The fourth annual Enterprising Wiltshire Awards launches today, giving Wiltshire’s businesses the opportunity to show just how good they can be.
Sponsored by Wiltshire Council and hosted by Inspire, Wiltshire’s businesses have eight award categories to choose from and enter; Small Business, Start-Up, Young Entrepreneur, Manufacturing, Exporting, Green Business, Most Innovative Product or Service and new for 2016, Apprentice Employer of the Year. As with previous years the overall winner of Wiltshire’s Business of the Year will be picked from the pool of category winners.
With the freshly re-branded Inspire hosting the awards for the fourth year, Rob Perks, CEO said: “Hosting these prestigious awards is a highlight of the year for the team at Inspire. There are some fantastic businesses in Wiltshire and this event allows them to showcase their business to a wide audience. It’s great to see the hard work entrepreneurs have put into making their businesses successful being recognised in this public way. It puts a wide smile on many faces and rightly so. We look forward to another inspirational event this year.”
The Economic Development and Planning team at Wiltshire Council proposed the new Apprentice Employer of the Year award to recognise employers who are making an outstanding contribution to this priority initiative at both local and national level. Fleur de Rhe Philipe, Wiltshire Council cabinet member with responsibility for economic development and skills, said: “Apprenticeships are not only vitally important for Wiltshire’s economy looking towards the future. They also offer a wonderful opportunity for local businesses, as well as providing an important path both for young people looking for the first step in their working life and more mature people looking for the chance to develop a new career. I am delighted that this award will recognise the important contribution local businesses play in the apprenticeship sector.”
The awards open for entry today and will culminate in the annual Gala Dinner and ceremony at Bowood House Hotel in March 2016.
Each award is sponsored by a Wiltshire business and the first to sign up to sponsor for 2016 was The Enterprise Network (TEN). Kate Forrest, manager of The Enterprise Network Swindon and Wiltshire, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor the small business category of the awards in recognition of the impact that this sector of the business community has on Wiltshire’s economy. The Enterprise Network is using Government funding locally to help support small businesses, creating the very best environment to launch or grow a small business. We have created enterprise centres across the county, offering affordable office space alongside free and independent advice from the Wiltshire business support service through Inspire. In addition, we’ve funded a series of brilliant networking events putting businesses in touch with each other. It’s great to be able to celebrate and acknowledge the strength of local small businesses through the Enterprising Wiltshire awards.”
Other awards sponsors include; Milsted Langdon for the ‘Young Entrepreneur Award’, Old Mill for the ‘Most Innovative Product or Service’, Monahans for ‘Manufacturing Award’ and Darren Larvin, managing director of Coombe Castle International said of their sponsorship of the ‘Exporting Award’, “Coombe Castle International are delighted to sponsor the export category of the prestigious Enterprising Wiltshire Awards 2016. As a previous winner we know the awards are a great way of recognising the wonderful and diverse businesses we have here in the county.”
Winners of the eight categories will each receive a cash prize of £1,500 provided by Wiltshire Council. The Business of the Year will receive an additional £500, bringing its total prize to £2,000, but most importantly a comprehensive package of business support, advice and networking opportunities provided by Inspire.
Last year’s Wiltshire Business of the Year, Hill Brush said “We were amazed to win both Manufacturer of the Year and Business of the Year 2015 and winning the awards has raised our profile as a leading British manufacturer. We would certainly recommend entering the Enterprising Wiltshire Awards as it’s a great celebration of the achievements of small and medium sized businesses across the county.”
Judging will take place in February 2016 with a panel of judges made up from Wiltshire Council’s Business & Enterprise team, the team from Inspire and leading representatives from Wiltshire’s professional services and entrepreneurial community.
Businesses have until 31 January 2016 to enter the awards. Entry is by completing a straight-forward online form available at www.inspirebiz.co.uk. For more information call 01225 355553.
You can follow all updates about the awards on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Inspire_Biz.