The deadline for the UK’s Enterprising Britain Awards  is fast approaching. If you’re a UK-based organisation working within the enterprise promotion sector, then you need to submit your application online by Friday, 10 June  in order to be in with a chance of being one of two British entrants in the pan-European EEPA competition.
- Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit
- Building enterprise skills
- Improving the business environment
- Support for exporting
We spoke to Derek Kozel from the Enterprising Britain team about what they’re looking for in a winning entry, and more:
What is Enterprising Britain and what is its relationship to the EEPA Awards?
The Enterprising Britain Awards are part of the Government’s drive to increase entrepreneurial activity in the UK. They are managed by Investment in Young People on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).The awards recognise and celebrate organisations across the UK that support the development of an entrepreneurial culture through their work on developing new start-up businesses and putting support and infrastructure in place that helps existing business grow. In more recent years the competition has also added an additional focus on organisations that work with young people to inspire them about enterprise and running a business. Two of the finalists will be put forward to the EEPA competition and if chosen may have the chance of representing the UK at the SME Assembly 2016. The competition started in 2004 and predates the EEPA.
What makes a town, city or area the ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’?
Impact. The Enterprising Britain Award judges look for the entrant that can show the greatest impact on its geographical location through their activity. This could be in terms of overall numbers of new jobs; total change in the physical infrastructure that supports the growth of the business community; or a pronounced change in how business and job growth/prospects are perceived in any particular area.
What are you looking for in standout entries?
The ability to demonstrate the impact that their project has achieved, both on their initial targeted criteria, but also a more wider general impact from their activity – the Added Value effect.
Last year’s Enterprising Britain Awards ceremony
How have you promoted the competition so far? Have you worked with any partners?
We’ve promoted the awards through our extensive contact lists of local authorities and business support organisations from across the country. We also use the EBA website and targeted emails to community contacts and a wide range of other organisations that are active in this area which we’ve had contact with over the years. We also have regular activity promoting the awards through our social media accounts @entbritawards as well as working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills media team.
What kind of response have you had so far?
We tend to have a build-up of interest and have an initial batch of organisations that have started to complete their entries. Our experience from the past three years of running the competition is that entries tend to arrive at the last minute, as we continue to promote the competition and follow up all of the organisations that have registered and expressed an initial interest.
What advice would you give to organisations thinking of entering the competition?
Enter – the competition is free to enter, and could lead to an awards presentation at the House of Commons as well as representing the UK in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. Past winners of the Most Enterprising Place in Britain have been featured on national TV and continue to gain an advantage from this award in their ongoing publicity and marketing of their project.
The other point would be not to leave it till the last minute. We often have entries that are submitted close to the deadline that for some reason hit a “technical hitch” and that just adds to the pressure of getting the entry in. If you submit your entry a few days before the deadline it gives everyone a bit more time to deal with any unexpected problems.
Finally, where can prospective entrants find out more info?
The Enterprising Britain Web site  should be their starting point as this sets out all the details on the categories, entry criteria and rules and how to enter.