The Queen’s Awards Helping You Influence

Consider nominating a business for a Queen’s Award?

The 2020 Queen’s Awards are now open for applications and close at noon on 9 September 2020. 

The annual celebration of business marks the contribution that SMEs make towards UK trade.

More than 200 businesses from across the UK won an award in 2019, across four categories – innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.

However, only a handful of East Midlands businesses were selected for an award.   

So, the Chamber is now working with the Lieutenancy Offices in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire to encourage more businesses to enter.

Why should my business enter the Queen’s Awards?

There are both internal and external benefits for the companies who receive a Queen’s Award. A survey of past winners across the East Midlands found that:

  • 79% said the award was a boost to staff morale
  • 76% said it added prestige to their business
  • 69% per cent said it increased recognition of their business in the UK
  • 48% said it gave their business an edge overseas.
  • 46% of winners said it resulted in them getting additional profile for their business

What benefits are there?

Winners of Queen’s Awards are Royal reception and presented with the award by one of The Queen’s representatives, a Lord-Lieutenant.

Winning companies also get an exclusive invitation to a reception at Buckingham Palace, which is hosted by HM The Queen.

In addition, all winners benefit from:

  • National and global recognition
  • Excellent marketing opportunities
  • Added commercial value to your business
  • New business opportunities
  • Competitive edge and new business opportunities
  • Boost to staff morale
  • Use of the Queen’s Awards emblem on stationery and marketing
  • Permission to fly the Queen's Awards flag at your premises
  • Commemorative crystal trophy


What categories are there?

There are four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise categories, which are:

International Trade – For organisations which have achieved outstanding growth in overseas sales, relative to their business size and sector.

Innovation – For organisations which have achieved outstanding commercial success on the back of launching a new innovation in either the invention, design or production of goods, the

performance of services, marketing and distribution, or the after-sale support of goods or services.

Sustainable Development – For organisations which have improved their commercial performance through the continuous improvement of sustainable business practices.

Promoting opportunity through social mobility – For organisations which have a social mobility programme running for more than two years that helps socially disadvantaged individuals or groups.

Is my business eligible to apply?

Each individual category has its own criteria, but you can usually apply for a Queen’s Award if your business:

  • Is based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)
  • Files company tax returns with HMRC
  • Is a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management
  • Has at least two full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents
  • Demonstrates strong corporate social responsibility

Have many local businesses won?

Yes, many local businesses across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire have won a Queen’s Award in recent years, including:

  • Morningside Pharmaceuticals
  • SMS Electronics
  • Microlise
  • HSG (Hygienix)
  • QDOS (now called Quest)
  • Ampetronic
  • JCB

Here is a short video of Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Leicester and the Cheif Executive at Morningside Pharmaceuticals, Dr Nik Kotecha, speaking about the key benefits of winning a Queen's Awards. Click the below to view. 

How do I enter?

Entries for the 2020 Queen’s Awards close at Noon on Tuesday 10 September. Apply online at

Key Facts from the 2019 Queens Awards 

  • There were 631 applications
  • 201 awards were granted to 195 winners (there were six double award winners)
  • There were 61 Innovation awards, 129 International Trade awards, 5 Promoting Opportunity awards and 6 Sustainable Development awards
  • 90% of 2019 winners were SMEs (i.e., had less than 250 employees)
  • In 2019 the highest proportion of winners were in London and the South East
  • The majority of applicants came from the manufacturing sector