At the end of this week, the entries close for the 2019 Cardiff Business Awards which were established five years ago to recognise the best of the capital city’s entrepreneurs and businesses.
As chairman of judges, I find it an incredible experience to spend time with some amazing individuals who come before the panel to tell us about their business and demonstrate the talent, enterprise and innovation from across all sectors of the city’s business community
One of the distinguishing features of these awards, which many other competitions did not have back in 2015, is the three days of intense judging that takes place every year several weeks before the final.
I developed this process for the Cardiff Business Awards because of my prior experience with other competitions such as the Ernst and Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards where I also acted as chairman of judges for a number of years.
Then, as with most business awards, the evaluation of the entries was largely based on written applications although the judges did get the opportunity to meet informally with all the finalists prior to the final decision. It was during those conversations that we learnt so much more about those founders who had entered.
When the Cardiff Awards were set up, I wanted to take this concept to the next level and get the judges to directly listen and question all finalists.
As a result, individuals and businesses get the opportunity to pitch their business directly to the judges rather than relying only on written entries.
Yes, this process is time-consuming but it is the passion and knowledge of those applying in response to intense questioning from a group of expert judges that often makes the difference on the day in choosing the winners. It also adds enormous credibility to the awards and the decision on the winners of each category.
So why do businesses enter these awards?
Well, I have found that for the majority in Cardiff, it is the first time that they get the acknowledgement and credibility they deserve for all the hard work they have put in to develop their firms. That recognition by others is a critical step in highlighting the success of the business in a competitive marketplace and against peers within the sector.
Another key consideration is that entering an award can help founders and managers to motivate their staff by enabling them to recognise their efforts in developing the business over a period of time.
It could also be an opportunity to pursue new customers as a seal of approval from an awards ceremony is an invaluable way of raising the firm’s profile in the media and can be used as a marketing tool in getting more business from existing customers, attracting new clients, and raising finance from potential investors.
Indeed, as someone who has managed the Wales Fast Growth 50 awards for over twenty years, I know from the chats I have had with many entrepreneurs that being recognised in this way can make a significant difference to the business and be a real morale booster for the business, its owner and its employees.
Therefore, with only a few days left to go, I would encourage all those eligible businesses to enter this year’s Cardiff Business Awards. This will not only result in recognition for all of success they have achieved to date but will enable those firms to benchmark themselves against the other brilliant businesses that are thriving across our capital city.#
To enter this years awards – https://cardiffbusinessawards.com/