The King’s Awards for Enterprise was established in 1966 and since then over 7,000 companies have been awarded. 

Winning a King’s Award is no mean feat, which is why we have committed the necessary time to understanding every single element of the competition so that we can identify the organisations that demonstrate a winner’s profile based on our vast experience of over 100 wins over the last few years. 

Our team of experts will evaluate your business against the strict King’s Awards for Enterprise eligibility requirements to determine which category(s) you should apply for.

Not every company is eligible to enter the King’s Awards competition but we will ensure that you meet the minimum requirements before moving ahead. It’s a long and detailed process, with more due diligence than any other award, so we ensure that you demonstrate a winners’ profile from the outset, before moving ahead with an entry.

There are 4 categories:

  • Innovation
  • International trade
  • Sustainable development
  • Promoting opportunity (through social mobility)

About The King’s Awards Categories

International Trade

Also known as the King’s Award for Export, this category is reserved for companies who have succeeded in growing their sales overseas, in one or more countries. The award recognises those whose driven business strategy has conquered threats from competitors and exporters. In addition to including both products and services, the category requires that the organisation can show sales of at least £100,000 in their first year of entry into the foreign market.

Entries must be made in one of the following sub-categories: Outstanding Achievement (with steep growth over 3 years) or Continuous Achievement (with growth maintained over 6 years).

Innovation

This category encourages innovation in organisations, specifically in relation to a product or service that is growing in turnover and profit. Entries must be made in one of the following sub-categories: Outstanding Achievement (growth sustained over 2 years) or Continuous Achievement (growth sustained over 5 years).

Potential winners will be able to demonstrate that they have created a commercially successful business model, one that is growing in turnover and profit year on year, as well as having a strong business strategy for its current and ongoing success. Alongside their innovative achievements, the organisation will also be able to highlight the challenges they have faced.

Promoting Opportunity (Through Social Mobility)

What does ‘Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility’ mean for the King’s Awards? To succeed in this category, the company should promote social mobility programmes that aim to benefit people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Self-contained organisations must be able to prove and substantiate that their programme increases commercial success over a minimum of 2 years, including professional reputation or savings in the business.

Crucially, this category can also include organisations whose programmes push success through work experience, give career advice, give non-graduates access to entry-level roles or give support and equal opportunities to all employees. 

Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development category is aimed towards companies that develop products and services that have a major positive impact on the environment, society and the economy. Organisations are required to demonstrate that their financial growth has been maintained for 3 years, showing how this focus on sustainability can be both financially beneficial and provide a positive effect on wider society.

Winners will be able to demonstrate that with sustainability at the heart of their organisation, they have created a commercially successful business model that grows in turnover and profits, and has a strong, long-term strategy. There are around 18 winners in this category each year, which is far less than for other categories, reflecting the relative number of entries.

81%

Win rate for the King's Awards

“To win the most prestigious business award for start ups – the Innovation category of King’s Award for Enterprise – it is not enough to have a break-out idea well executed. It also critical to be able to tell your story in a way that speaks to the judges and craft an entry that showcases your unique achievements. This is where Awards Intelligence are invaluable. They have been our expert guide, wise counsel and told our story in a way we could have never done alone. Winning a King’s Award is truly a team sport and I can thoroughly recommend Awards Intelligence should be a core part of your team.”

NEIL EASTWOOD, CEO & FOUNDER, CARE FRIENDS, KING'S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE WINNER 2023

Learn more about the King’s Awards

Our guide to business awards sets out how our services work, our approach to winning awards, and how our globally recognised experts can give you the winning edge when it comes to awards success.

    The Business Awards PDF will be downloaded after submission.
    The House of Lords PDF will be downloaded after submission.
    The Royal Honours PDF will be downloaded after submission.
    The Kings Awards for Enterprise PDF will be downloaded after submission.

    King’s Awards FAQs

    Which King's Award category should I enter?

    Picking the right category to enter is the first step of the King’s Awards process, and it can make all the difference in how far your entry gets in the competition.

    There are four categories available to enter: Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development (each of these has 2 sub-categories to choose from – Outstanding Achievement and Continuous Achievement), and Promoting Opportunity. The Promoting Opportunity category must demonstrate successful results over at least 2 years.

    You may also enter more than one category if your business achievements span a variety of areas. Our Kings’s Awards experts will help you understand the requirements of each category and make sure you are well-placed before you begin the entry process.

    Who is eligible for a King's Award?

    At the very minimum your company

    • must be UK based (including the Channel Island and the Isle of Man
    • have exemplary compliance with HMRC in terms of tax returns
    • is a self-contained enterprise marketing its own products and/or services and under its own management
    • have at least 2 full-time employees (or part-time equivalents)
    • demonstrate a commitment to excellence in terms of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG)

    Each category of the award has additional requirements. You will be thoroughly assessed so that we can make an honest recommendation to enable you to make an informed decision before proceeding.

    What details should I include in my King's Award entry?

    The entry process for the King’s Awards is rigorous and highly detailed, requiring a high level of information that needs to be substantiated with sold evidence.

    Each King’s Awards for Enterprise category requires a different approach, but in general you will need to provide a compelling and detailed narrative of your business’ strategy for growth, corporate social responsibility, and trading and employee relationships. You must also be able to demonstrate how these achievements have developed over a set period of time.

    In summary, you must win over the judges by demonstrating how your business stands out above others in your sector, region or trading environment.

    How many King's Awards are given out each year?

    There are no specific numbers of awards allocated – the judges can award as many businesses they feel meet the requirements and benchmarks in that year’s competition. However in general the numbers of awards given out on average over the last few years are as follows:

    Sustainable Development: Approximately 20

    Innovation: Approximately 50

    International Trade: Approximately 130

    Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility: Approximately 12

    Who has Awards Intelligence helped win a King's Award?

    We are delighted to be able to introduce you to some of our winners who are happy to tell you about the support we gave them in their King’s Award application:

    Stuart L. Huyton, Founder & Director, Gaia Earth Sciences Limited & Gaia Earth Technologies Limited said: “We were in the rare situation that our innovation had been started by the first company and then developed and commercialised by the second one, making the application process far from straightforward. Undoubtably, we would not have succeeded without the expert support from Lesley and the team at Awards Intelligence and we would recommend their services wholeheartedly. We now have two awards for Innovation! .” (Double Winner – Innovation 2023)

    Francis Toye, Managing Director Unilink Software Limited said: “After several years and some failures trying to do this ourselves, thank-you for this brilliant win by you and Keith resulting in Unilink receiving one of the first King’s Awards for International Trade.  I have been impressed by your commitment and guidance to help us and I have no hesitation in recommending Awards Intelligence to any other business contemplating applying.” (Winner – International Trade 2023)

    Neil Eastwood, CEO & Founder, Care Friends said: “To win the most prestigious business award for start ups – the Innovation category of King’s Award for Enterprise – it is not enough to have a break-out idea well executed. It also critical to be able to tell your story in a way that speaks to the judges and craft an entry that showcases your unique achievements. This is where Awards Intelligence are invaluable. They have been our expert guide, wise counsel and told our story in a way we could have never done alone. Winning a King’s Award is truly a team sport and I can thoroughly recommend Awards Intelligence should be a core part of your team.” (Winner – Innovation 2023)

    Leigh Chadwick, Joint Managing Director, Seasalt Ltd said: “Thank you for all your help in building our entry to the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. You clearly grasped how important sustainability is to Seasalt and we were delighted that your professional and innovative approach to constructing our entry highlighted our own exceptional achievements in the retail sector”.

    Jonathan Evitt, Managing Director, Tecna Display said: “With only 2 weeks to go before the deadline, we approached Awards Intelligence specifically to help us win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and with their expert help we achieved our goal. To win the most prestigious business award in the world at the first attempt is no mean feat. What seemed daunting at the start was made very easy by Awards Intelligence, especially with the time scale created by our financial year end. The quality of the service was fast, efficient and professional. I would wholeheartedly recommend Awards Intelligence”.

    We ensure our clients take the full credit they deserve for their award win, so we don’t talk about them unless they have given us their express permission, and we would treat your application with the same level of confidentiality.

    When does the King's Awards competition open and close?

    The awards open for entry in May each year and close in early September. Shortlisted companies are notified in November, at which time they will be asked to provide evidence of their audited accounts,  and winners are notified (under embargo) in March. Winners are announced publicly in April.

    Don’t leave it too late to get started – you may be surprised how much information is required! Each nomination takes us an average of 75 hours to compile, so we work closely and early with our business clients to ensure their submission is as impactful as the process is rigorous.