In the increasingly saturated world of online marketing, where marketeers are competing for unique content and trying to stick out from the crowd, there is still a lot of shelf space for big, badly designed business awards. The black-tie dinners might look a bit corporate and shiny to us hooded, techy folk but the awards listed below are proof that the awards landscape is changing to accommodate startups, as is the cost of entry and format of the evening. Many of these awards have not yet announced this year’s categories or deadlines as awards tend to fall later in the year, so I’ve left a handy link to their information pages in the title of each award so you can bookmark this article and return to it later in the year when nominations open. I’ve also sought out similar categories within each awards evening, so that you won’t have to spend hours writing different copy for each event.

Startups Awards

The Startups Awards didn’t waste any time naming their event and instead put it to better use creating a good variety of categories and a lively awards evening with one free ticket per nomination, so you needn’t be breaking the bank to attend. Now in it’s 16th year, it might not be the most glamorous event but with past winners including, Ella’s Kitchen, Glasses Direct, Naked Wines, Secret Escapes, and Purplebricks, you’ll be in fine company if you make it up on stage.

Disclaimer: we’re a bit fond of these awards ever since they commended us for Startup Community Catalyst of the Year last year…

The Europas

The Europas Awards has now been running for ten years and is the only independent event to recognise the best that the European startup scene has to offer. Attendees hail from all over Europe for the day-long event, which includes expert speeches, discussions, intimate ‘breakout’ sessions and culminates in a glamorous dinner and awards evening void of the usual corporate stuffiness. Judged by industry peers, it’s also been featured in Bloomberg, VentureBeat, Forbes,, The Memo, TechCrunch and, best of all, it’s completely free to enter. The awards were in July last year, and likely will be again, meaning you can expect the deadline for applications to be in March at the earliest.

Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards

These annual awards are a tribute to Madame Clicquot, a pioneering figure in the early 19th Century champagne industry, and look to recognise women in business that demonstrate a similarly entrepreneurial outlook. If you or any other women in your startup meet the criteria of ‘enterprising spirit, courage and determination’ then applying to these awards could be a great way to recognise it, and win a generously sized bottle of champagne in the process. A word of warning though – we have put our CEO Natasha forward for this award and if you beat her to it, you’re in trouble.  

Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Founded in 2003, the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards last year received 3,000 applications, shortlisted 400 entrepreneurs and handed out 58 awards over the course of the evening. The awards are held in five regions (Midlands, Wales and the South West, the North, Scotland & Northern Ireland, and London & the South East) and positions itself not just as an awards ceremony, but a year-round community and support network for finalists to network and share their ideas.

Proof that the judging panel know a thing or two goes by way of the previous winners of the awards:

  • James Watt, BrewDog
  • David Buttress, JustEat UK
  • Julie Deane OBE, Cambridge Satchel Co.
  • Shaun Pulfrey, Tangle Teezer
  • Hannah & Sophie Pycroft, Spectrum Collections

Business Leader Awards

Although the title of the awards and polished landing page might seem to be aimed towards larger business, a quick scan of the categories (Entrepreneur of the Year, Start-Up Business of the Year, Scale-Up Business of the Year, Disruptor/ Innovator of the Year) suggest that there are plenty of members here at Runway East that are well-placed to grab a piece of glassware or two. Applications close on February 28th and is it entirely free to enter, but a ticket for the evening on June 21st will set you back £350 which might be harder to sell to the board.

Best Business Women Awards

As with the Veuve Clicquot Awards, this awards night looks to celebrate women who have successfully launched and grown their business in a world. Entries for the 2019 event open on 15th March 2019 and close on 1st July, in time for the awards ceremony which takes place at The Tower Hotel, London on 11th October 2019. The 21 different categories mean that there is likely a category for everyone and, at £25 an application it does cost, but it’s not unaffordable either. Again, though, our CEO will not be happy if you beat her to this award..

The Amazon Growing Business Awards

Again, the information on this year’s awards is so far limited but it is definitely worth flagging here to be checked back on later in the year. The awards night last year was held on 28th November, so expect the deadline for applications to be in Q3 of this year. Supported by CBE and sponsored by Amazon, winning this gong should gain you plenty of traction and impressions on social media and, with categories ranging from Entrepreneur of the Year to Innovator of the Year, there should be something there for every startup.  

If there are any great awards you think I might have missed, or are announced later in the year, please drop me a line on and I’ll make sure to amend this article.

For a more extensive list of business awards in the UK that can be filtered down to meet your specificities, click here.

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