June 14th

Awards entries open

for submission

November 16th

Awards entries

close for entry


Awards judging

process takes place

January 10th

Awards finalists

publicly announced

March 20th

The Awards take place

Hilton Hotel, Park Lane

Scale Up Award Categories

Do you own or manage an exceptional British business? Have you launched an innovative product or service, or achieved exceptional growth? Perhaps you’re committed to corporate responsibility, or even run a social enterprise that is having a real impact.

The Scale Up Awards are free to enter, and you may enter multiple categories. Entry is open to business, entrepreneurs and organisations that are based in the UK and who can demonstrate ‘best in class’ business performance.

Start-up Business of the Year

Showcasing a new business (under 2 years old) that is already making waves on the national stage

Judges will be looking for:

  • Market research including market size, customer profile and competitor analysis
  • A clear, innovative business idea backed by a sound business and marketing plan
  • On-target business and financial performance to date, and a healthy forward order book
  • Overview of how the business launched and investment plans
  • Clear leadership plan with any information around plans to bring on board NEDs or Chairperson

Enter this award

Scale-up Business of the Year

Sponsored by Castle Business Finance

A high growth company with at least 10 employees – & £1m turnover – that has seen average annualised growth of 20% or more in last three years.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Demonstration of investment to build a strong management team
  • Evidence of the growth mindset and commitment to building collaborations
  • Evidence of financial performance that categorises the business as scale up
  • Strategy around plans for further expansion

Enter this award

Social Enterprise of the Year

Recognising a successful business that reinvests its profit back into the community.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Evidence of how the enterprise has put the interests of people and planet before shareholder gain
  • Overview of how the enterprise was formed and why it was formed
  • Identification of market or end-user
  • Evidence of commercial plan to create profit
  • Any information around activities that stimulate interest in the arts, community engagement, encourage enterprise or raise aspiration

Enter this award

Franchise Business Award

Celebrating a franchise that is delivering real growth for the network and success for the franchisees.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Evidence of a passion and commitment to ethical franchising
  • Evidence of how the franchisee has created a successful business
  • Creation of successful strategies that have helped the business to stand out from the crowd
  • Evidence of financial performance
  • Clear plan for future growth
  • Evidence of how the business has successful collaborated with the franchise in pursuit of growth

Enter this award

Retail / E-Commerce Business Award

Sponsored by Stackhouse Poland

Recognising a business that provides great products, outstanding customer service and solid financial results in the retail space. This award is open to retail businesses operating both online and traditional retail models.

  • Evidence of commercial success
  • Overview of business and its future plans
  • Evidence of why the business stands-out in the competitive retail sector
  • Innovation led approach to online retailing (where applicable)
  • Evidence of creation and execution of marketing plan to drive enquiries

Enter this award

Manufacturing Excellence Award

Recognising a company with a world-class manufacturing ethos, outstanding productivity and business performance to match.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Overview of business and its sectors
  • Solid growth and financial performance
  • Examples of investment in new technology/factory
  • Information about any new product lines brought to market
  • Export strategy (if relevant)
  • Strategy for developing personnel and investing in apprentices (if relevant)
  • Commitment to innovation

Enter this award

Family Business of the Year

Celebrating a business owned and managed by family members, with a clear family succession plan.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Understanding of the history of the business and its family heritage
  • Solid growth and financial performance
  • Clearly defined management structure
  • Business plan to achieve growth going forward
  • Clear succession plan for future generations of the family or outside leadership
  • Commitment to corporate social responsibility

Enter this award

Disruptor / Innovator Business Award

A business, product or service that is challenging the established operators and winning market share.

Judges will be looking for:

  • How the business has disrupted its sector or market
  • Impact the business has had on the sector or market it operates in
  • Journey that led to the development of your innovation, including any market research
  • The benefits and impact of your innovation on the end-user
  • Commercial success and financial performance

Enter this award

Export Business of year

Flying the flag for British business overseas, this award recognises a company making a significant impact on international trade.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Outline of business strategy and objectives
  • Research of the target overseas markets
  • Distribution channels/route to market
  • Relevant branding and marketing
  • Barriers and obstacles, and how you overcame them
  • Impact to UK operations

Enter this award

Advisory Firm of the Year

Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin

Showcasing an outstanding legal, financial, M&A or other strategic advisory firm.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Overview of the firm, its structure and client base
  • Clear corporate social responsibility plan
  • Evidence of how you have gone over and above for clients
  • Evidence of commercial performance
  • Commitment to staff well-being and evidence of associated programmes

Enter this award

Corporate Responsibility Award

This award acknowledges a company that is making a major social impact beyond its commercial aims.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Clear plan for CSR and implementation of it
  • Programmes in place to benefit staff and/or community groups or equivalent
  • Measurable impact of CSR programmes
  • Particularly innovative programmes
  • Overview of company and financial structure and how CSR fits into this

Enter this award

Customer Excellence Award

Recognising a company that is a true customer champion, setting world-class standards.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Methods used to monitor customer satisfaction levels
  • How you empower your employees to ‘delight’ your customers
  • Employee training procedures to enhance customer satisfaction levels
  • Resources and tools implemented to support customers out of hours
  • Your process for customer returns, complains and follow-up
  • Evidence of how your customer service has impacted financial performance

Enter this award

Employer of the Year

Showcasing an organisation with exceptional staff satisfaction and commitment to employee welfare.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Evidence of initiatives that have increased employee engagement and benefit staff
  • Clear company culture that is open and inclusive
  • Positive leadership and management that inspires staff
  • Clear human resources programmes that create a supportive work environment
  • Evidence of employee engagement with the company’s values and goals
  • Demonstrable levels of staff retention and development
  • Schemes and training initiatives that contribute towards staff development
  • Evidence of health and wellbeing initiatives

Enter this award

Rising Star Award

Recognising a visionary manager, professional or business owner under 35 and making a significant impact in their field.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Evidence of how you have shown enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurial flair
  • Launching or running a business with a proven record of growth, employment and financial success or:
  • A manager or professional that has made a measurable impact to their business or organisation
  • The individual’s business journey and plans
  • Understanding of business and financial planning

Enter this award

Entrepreneur of the Year

A true pioneer who has founded or acquired a successful business, with a proven track record of growth and success.

Judges are looking for:

  • Description of your business journey – including previous companies bought or sold
  • Evidence of vision, leadership and risks taken to achieve reward
  • Strong business and financial acumen
  • Identification of a marketing opportunity for the business
  • Evidence of present and future financial growth
  • Overcoming business obstacles to achieve success

Enter this award

NED / Chairman of the Year

Recognising a non-executive director or chairman who has advised and supported an exceptional business.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Review of the individual’s business career and experience
  • Evidence of how they have helped to steer a company’s growth
  • Any CSR or extracurricular business support activity
  • Disclosure of any board roles not related to the entry
  • Any information around new products launched or investment into innovation suggested

Enter this award

Business Leader of the year

This special Award is presented to an individual who has championed British business and made a significant positive impact to the business community.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Breakdown of the entrants business ‘story’
  • Information about the entrants business history and any relevant financial information
  • Overview of any non-executive business positions and any charitable or community work
  • Example of where entrants leadership has delivered particularly successful results
  • Information highlighting any career successes and milestones

Enter this award

The 2020 Scale Up Awards

The Scale Up Awards are free to enter and you can enter any number of awards. Entry is open to organisations where the principle activity or head office is based in the UK. Please refer to the Award Entry Guidelines for each category.

If you have any questions regarding award entry, don’t hesitate to contact us.

    2020 Awards Sponsored by

  • Stackhouse Poland
  • Castle Business Finance
  • Brewin Dolphin

2020 Awards is supported by