John Mohin KAE

King’s Award for Enterprise – Event

INVITATION:  All you need to know about the ‘King’s Award for Enterprise’ 
DATE: Wednesday, May 15th, 2024: 
The Athenaeum, Church Valley, Liverpool. L1 3DD

Following the success of our special event last year to galvanise businesses in Merseyside to apply for the King’s Award for Enterprise (KAE), we are running a second event this year on 15th May. 

Contact Helen Tanzey on  to book your place. Spaces are limited and we have the Head of the King’s Award Office coming to Liverpool to speak to you, along with past winners of the award. Learn the do’s and don’ts for a successful application for this most prestigious of awards.

For more information and a case study from a previous winner, see below:

Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside urges businesses to apply for King’s Awards for Enterprise.

The King’s Awards for Enterprise (formerly The Queen’s Awards) are the most prestigious honours for British businesses and have been handed out every year since 1966. 

The awards date back to 1965 when the scheme was originally established as The Queen’s Award to Industry. Since their inception, 6,761 awards have been presented.  Last year there were 148 winners when the scheme became ‘The King’s Awards’ following King Charles III’s ascension to the throne.

Mark Blundell, the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, has been campaigning to encourage high achieving or innovative Merseyside businesses  to apply for King’s Award for Enterprise status.

Mr. Blundell says it is a key part of his role as His Majesty the King’s representative in Merseyside to recognise people from the region who are making outstanding contributions to the nation, and who are deserving to be acknowledged or recognised for their efforts, through the UK’s unique Honours system. 

For the King’s Awards for Enterprise, his mission is to engage with companies and business leaders across Merseyside to show they may be worthy of this award, and to inform them of the immense benefits such an honour can bring to their business.

The King’s Awards are well supported by many regions around the UK but unfortunately the application numbers from Merseyside companies in the past have been disappointing, and last year he launched an initiative to rectify the situation. 

Mr. Blundell pulled together a group of experienced and knowledgeable business people with the Head of the King’s Awards for Enterprise from the Department for Business and Trade at an event to help organisations understand the benefits of obtaining the King’s Award, and how to make a successful application. 

This inaugural event resulted in doubling the number of applications in 2023 from Merseyside, compared with the previous year. The 2023 winners are due to announced on May 6th, the anniversary of the King’s Coronation. 

Mr. Blundell says Liverpool is not just recognised for music and entertainment or its football clubs. The city is renowned worldwide as a leading centre for business and trade and, along with the wider Merseyside region, there are a multitude of outstanding and innovative businesses across a range of sectors that Merseyside should be proud of. His goal now is to encourage even more of these fantastic businesses to apply for King’s Award for Enterprise recognition this year. 

He is therefore hosting another King’s Awards for Enterprise briefing for businesses to be held on Wednesday, May 15th where the Head of the King’s Awards Office and previous winners will speak about the application process and offer advice on what is required to make a successful application.

The King’s Award for Enterprise is the most coveted business award for UK companies. The highly prestigious awards are given to companies who excel at international trade, innovation, sustainable development or promoting opportunity through social mobility (where organisations have programmes in place that support people from disadvantaged backgrounds in improving their job skills and their chances of finding work).

Given annually to UK-based businesses that demonstrate exceptional achievement, they are widely considered to be a hallmark of business excellence, bringing numerous benefits to the recipients.

Here Mr. Blundell offers detailed guidance which he hopes will help to encourage businesses to take the plunge and consider making an application.  He also spells out the range of benefits to successful businesses with a list of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ to assist businesses leaders to make informed decisions and guide them through the process. The benefits are wide-ranging including: 

  • Increased brand recognition and credibility: The King’s Award is significantly recognised and respected by the global business community. It can help to boost your company’s reputation and increase its credibility, making it easier to attract new customers, partners, and investors. 
  • Improving marketing opportunities: For 5 years winners are given the right to use the official King’s Awards emblem, which can be displayed on products, packaging, and promotional materials. This helps to raise the profile of the business and provides a powerful marketing tool that can be used to promote your products and services. It provides a kind of badge of assurance for new customers.
  • Networking opportunities: Winners are invited to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they have the opportunity to network with other winners, business leaders, government representatives and members of the Royal Family. This provides a valuable platform for building relationships and expanding your business network. 
  • Access to funding and grants: An award can help your business to secure funding and grants, as it demonstrates a track record of success and innovation. This can be particularly valuable for small and medium-sized enterprises that are looking to grow and expand.  
  • Improving employee morale: An award can boost employee morale and help to create a sense of pride and ownership among your workforces. The on-line application process allows a variety of staff to take part in building the application.  So, bosses should encourage their employees to contribute and get them involved in the process. This can have a positive impact on productivity, as employees are more motivated to work harder and achieve better results.

Winning isn’t easy, and the process can seem daunting which is precisely why the King’s Award for Enterprise is so coveted. The awards are highly competitive. Preparing your submission is very time consuming but, ultimately, very rewarding if you are selected for an award. It is an award that is well worth applying for if you think your business is worthy of royal recognition. 

The event on May 15th will certainly help steer you through the process.  The main advice to applicants would be:

  1. You need to go through ALL the questions and not get disillusioned by what may seem the repetitive nature of what the criteria is asking of you. Each successive question is designed to encourage each applicant to be strident, assertive and confident. The King’s Award Judges are actively looking to identify winners and it is important that applicants remain energetic, strong and keen to explain everything in detail.
  • You must be satisfied that your company deserves recognition.  These awards, though very hard to attain, are open to almost all organisations from start-ups to established SMEs and large organisations across all sectors.
  • The prestige of being recognised as a King’s Award for Enterprise winner is reflected by this rigorous and methodical entry process. Yes, it can seem daunting but when undertaken as a shared process it can bring a business closer and help address business matters in tandem with developing one’s own award application. In effect, the awards exercise can be beneficial as a sense check of one’s business, giving you an opportunity to take an in depth look at your operation.
  • You must allow plenty of time to study the criteria and to provide a compelling story with compelling answers that, importantly, must be backed by evidence and supported, where required, with expert validation. Bland statements won’t win.
  •   Entries can be made online and there are four main components to the application:
  • The main entry form: Each of the categories has a series of plain text boxes where you explain the details of your case for winning.
  • The financial form: This has a host of financial and business-related statistic boxes and questions. Each application for the King’s Awards for Enterprise is assessed by two accredited assessors. In the course of their work, they carry out a thorough process of due diligence. This may require them for example, to collate information from Companies House or cross reference with government agencies, such as HMRC, DWP and HSE in order to ensure complete transparency. 

The assessors are looking to verify the quality of information they have been given about the business model, management, employees and conditions in the marketplace, before arriving at a final assessment. It’s all open and subject to post audit to ensure complete fairness.

  • ESG section: This is a separate part of the entry that covers questions focused on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance. This is a very important part of the entry, and companies must demonstrate ESG to be eligible to win an award.  *This though is NOT required in the Sustainable Development category.
  • Signed endorsement from your accountants: If you are shortlisted for an award, this will be required and if any errors are discovered in your application, then it may harm your chances. It is therefore vital that all your figures are correct before submitting.

               All the guidance for entry can be found on the Government website Click here

  • Remember you are telling your story for the first time to people who likely know nothing of your business, so don’t be shy about talking passionately about your successes. People need to blow their own trumpet while ensuring that everything they shout about is backed by evidence and supported with endorsements from your customers.
  • Make sure any statement you make in your entry ties in with statements you make on your website and your promotional literature.
  • Applicants need to demonstrate growth in their financial performance year on year.  If companies have made losses, they will need to demonstrate how their innovation mitigates losses.  However, it is essential that any assertions you make are validated by experts and are not mere speculation.
  • Highlighting awards wins MUST be supported by endorsements from your customers.
  • You may have a very worthy enterprise but how have you had a positive impact on your sector? How have you made a difference? What makes you stand out from the crowd?
  • You must allocate plenty of time to diligently go through the process, but the rewards will be hugely significant to your future success as a UK company that is recognised with ‘King’s Award for Enterprise’ status.  
  •  And, if at first you don’t succeed, you will receive feedback from the judges with guidance on why you failed and what you need to do to make a successful entry next time.

 What companies are eligible to enter?

Organisations must be based in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and file  company tax returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). 

They must also be a self-contained enterprises that markets their own products or services and under their own management, have at least two full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents and “demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility”.

Organisations can be a business or non-profit while each of the four award categories has additional entry criteria. You can find out full details about the awards and how to enter at:

  • The King’s Awards for Enterprise is free to enter. 
  • Businesses can submit their applications from May 6th until September 12th, 2024. 
  • The winners are announced in a special edition of The London Gazette. 
  • Full details can be found on the King’s Award for Enterprise website.

The Lord-Lieutenant’s special event to help businesses make a successful King’s Award for Enterprise submission is on Wednesday, May 15th, at  Liverpool Athenaeum. If you wish to attend, please contact Helen Tanzey: Clerk to the Lieutenancy of Merseyside:  

A person wearing headphones and smiling

Description automatically generatedGlobal Beauty Products, a business based in Garston, was one of the last two recipients from Merseyside of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise before the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. GBP’s Brian Omar explains why they applied for an award and what it means to be a recipient.

“Our CEO, entrepreneur Warren Gavin, launched a small business in Liverpool in 2012 which, through our ‘Beautiful Brows & Lashes’ brand, has grown into a global operation that employs over 100 people worldwide.

Warren’s passionate about protecting the planet, so we only use sustainable vegan products, and we are the UK’s number one Brows and Lashes brand. In 2021 we decided to apply for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of our impressive international exports record.

Warren wanted our company, Global Beauty Products, to be recognised as an exceptional and trustworthy UK business, and what is now known as the King’s Award for Enterprise is the ultimate trusted mark in the world of business.

The royal recognition has really enhanced our credibility in the business world. We use the Queen’s Award emblem on all of our products and packaging, and on our stands at the trade shows that we attend around the world. The emblem appears on our websites, social media and all of the flyers we send out too.

We are immensely proud of our award, and the fact that we were the last Liverpool company to receive a Queen’s Award before Her Majesty died and it then became the King’s Award.

All of our products are produced here in Liverpool, in Garston, and we export to over 40 countries. 

We attend, and have staged, events in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Turkey, USA, Mexico, Italy, Greece and Germany in recent years. The fact that we have the royal seal of approval has been immensely beneficial to us by underpinning that we are regarded as an exceptional and trusted business.

The award is also important to our staff through boosting morale across the business. There is a deep sense of pride that we work for a business that has that all-important royal recognition. 

Yes, the application process is lengthy and rigorous but the status that recognition brings is certainly well worth the effort. It has significantly contributed to the growth of our business and the standing that we now have within our industry, and our award means we have the royal endorsement for a period of 5 years too.

I would recommend any company on Merseyside, if they are in a position to apply for a King’s Award, to do so, as it can only add value to your company.”

March 21st, 2024

Paul Smith:  

Share this post