Remember how a Compendium of Games was always a standard, delightful gift under your Christmas tree?
Well, ho, ho, ho, I have a similar offering for you, which should bring fascination throughout 2016 – and perhaps for years to come…
Ladies and gentlemen, please unwrap your new Compendium of Competitions – my tinselly digest of regular entrepreneurship awards to keep your competitive juices flowing.
Entering awards is not all about trophies and prizewinning or even those precious paragraphs broadcasting your triumph on the business pages of the regional press. It’s also about tracking your progress on the hitchhiker’s rocky road to success, boosting your confidence – personally and collectively – and adding colour and zest to your brand.
I’m still tingling from the euphoria it brought me and my colleagues as a result of a recent win for SimVenture. We picked up the Most Enterprising Learning Product at the 2015 Celebrating Enterprise Awards (see 22 below) at the House of Lords on November 4th.
But when at an EU Luxembourg event later that month I discovered (by chance) the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (see 11). It occurred to me that there are probably many competitions which most people don’t know anything about.
So, I have unearthed 22 UK and European enterprise and entrepreneurship awards for you to have a go at and seek the buzz of recognition, glory and achievement. If you find more and want to share them within this post let me know. I’ll be happy to point them out to others with my hitchhiking thumb.
My Christmas offering breaks down into four categories (Individual, Organisational, Subject/Theme and a multi mix of all). I hope you can make merry.
Unwrapping 22 entrepreneurship awards
1. The National Enterprise Educators Awards which aims to reward and celebrate those who demonstrate an exceptional and inspirational commitment to supporting student and graduate entrepreneurship in FE and HE in the UK. At stake is a chance to win £1,000 funding in three categories – for those who are transforming the enterprise curriculum in Higher Education; for those supporting extra-curricular activities in higher education (which, incidentally, SimVenture Evolution sponsored this year); and for those supporting extra-curricular activities in Further Education.
2. The IEEE Student Enterprise Award: Big rewards are being offered here by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. It’s an international competition for members of its student branch who have a brilliant idea for a project, whether technical or non-technical. Best submissions could earn funding of up to US $1,500. But hurry. Entry deadline is February 1st.
3. Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Programme: For 16 – 30 year olds with great ideas to save the planet. The programme offers £5,000 start-up funding to one monthly winner and £10,000 to the winner of the annual Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year. It is open to young people who have been trading for more than a year or are looking to start trading in the next six months. Their winning ideas will address the UK’s future transport, energy or natural resource challenges or make urban environments cleaner and more sustainable.
4. Great British Entrepreneur Awards: Sponsored by NatWest, there are no fewer than 16 categories touching on a wide range of entrepreneurial skills for business whizzes and whizz-kids. They include a manufacturing award, an export/international trade accolade and gongs for retail, eco-enterprise, creative industries, fashion, social enterprise, micro-business, young entrepreneur of the year, start ups, service industries and food and drink as well as an Entrepreneur’s Champion of the Year.
5. EY Entrepreneur of the Year: Are you a top business leader in either the corporate or social environment? Prove it by filling out an expression of interest form to enter these awards which start next month, January 7 with deadline to March 20. Regional finalists to be announced in June and overall UK winners to be hailed in October.
6. The Deutsche Bank Awards For Creative Enterprise: Budding arts entrepreneurs brace yourselves for this chance to win investment, support and training to help your launch into self-employment. Deutsche Bank is looking for more winners for 2016 to add to the 15 honoured at its Birmingham office in September.
7. Bank of Scotland New Ventures Award: A £10,000 cash top prize awaits the best fledgling businessperson North of the Border, with runner-up pots of £5,000 and £1,000 for third place. But get a wiggle on with your business summary and entry form. Both must be received by January 28th, 2016.
8. ACES Academic Enterprise Award: The only pan-European award for spin-outs from universities and public research institutes across all technology disciplines. Judged on the basis of novelty, fundraising, market potential and impact on society.
9. EIT Awards: This pan European event rewards successful start-ups, innovative projects and young entrepreneurial talent. Have you got a success story to promote and share that would catch the competition organiser’s eye?
10. Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship: Part of the Lloyds Bank National Business awards, this is a clarion call to universities whose work encouraging entrepreneurship deserves recognition.
11. European Enterprise Promotion Awards: If you promote entrepreneurship and small business at a local, regional and national, this competition could be for you. Initiatives from all EU countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey participate and in 2015 there were 6 category winners and one Jury’s Grand Prize. Over 2,800 projects have entered since 2006 and the opportunity for recognition throughout Europe makes this a very attractive proposition.
12. Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award: Prize money ranges between £1,000 and £25,000 for universities with agreements with the bank in the UK. There are two categories, one each for undergraduate and postgraduate students, with three awards each for the best proposed business projects.
13. The Times Higher Education Awards: Regarded as the “Oscars” for the higher education sector. There are no fewer than 17 categories, including Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative; Excellence and Innovation in the Arts; Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year; Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research; Most Innovative Teacher of the Year; Business School of the Year; and Entrepreneurial University of the Year. Congratulations to the University of Leeds for winning this year.
14. Digital Entrepreneur Awards: Brace yourselves for an April start for the 2016 version of this national dedication to internet entrepreneurialism –a springboard for success for many of the web’s pioneers. There are 16 categories spread widely across the digital spectrum.
15. Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards: Organised by the London-based School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), this competition rewards individuals trying to create positive social change through social enterprises, charities and community projects.. Top prize is £10,000, runner up earns £6,000 and third place gets £4,000.
16. Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year: Nominations opened in October and close on January 16th, 2016 for individuals who drive chemistry innovation to commercial success. Winner earns a cash prize of £4,000 and features in Chemistry World, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship publication. Get bucks for your bang!
17. Enactus Regional and National awards: Enactus, an international non-profit organisation, provides a platform for teams of outstanding university students to create successful community development projects. This popular competition also allows students to showcase their talents to many of the country’s top prospective employers.
18. Young Enterprise: This well-known organisation helps young people aged between four and 25 to taste the world of work and the excitement of running a business. And its start-up programme for undergraduates is growing fast, with many preferring not to rely on a competitive employment market. They want to create a real business while completing studies. Is that you? So sign on.
19. The Hult Prize Foundation: This is a start-up accelerator for whizz-kids emerging from a global university and the prize for the most compelling social businesses they propose to steer, is a breathtaking 1 million dollars. It’s worth it to find the solutions to grave issues faced by billions of people…
20. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Perhaps the most prestigious business award in Britain, offering three awards for organisations – for commercial success as a result of innovation; for international trade; and for sustainable development. There is also a nominations-only Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, which goes to individuals who have played an outstanding role in promoting skills and attitudes.
21. The European Entrepreneurship Education Award: This recognises an individual or organisation that has contributed to the improvement of entrepreneurship education in academia in Europe. The prize? The honour plus a diploma and 100,000 Swedish Krona in cash – that’s about £8k to you and me.
22. And finally… The Celebrating Enterprise Awards: Every year the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) and SFEDI seek out the key figures from the small business, enterprise and skills sector in the UK to celebrate and recognise the very best in enterprise learning and skills.
Good luck with all your adventures with enterprise and entrepreneurship awards. And on behalf of all the SimVenture team, can I wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful new year.