The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organisations who excel at international trade, innovation, sustainable development or promoting opportunity through social mobility. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses and the scheme was established by a royal warrant on 30 November 1965.

The awards are open to applications from businesses in every sector throughout the UK. Whether a small business with a great innovative product or service, or a larger company running an impressive social mobility programme, these awards are a significant way to recognise a company’s contribution to enterprise.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise recognise outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:

  • Innovation
  • International Trade
  • Sustainable Development and
  • Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility)

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are free to enter and the very process of entering can be a worthwhile and fruitful process in itself, revisiting the catalyst to create the business, how it has developed and its aims for the future. Global competition is becoming tougher and applying for, and receiving, an award, presents an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage going forward.

If your company wins, you will be:

  • invited to a Royal reception;
  • presented with the award at your company by the Lord Lieutenant, the Queen’s representative;
  • able to fly The Queen’s Awards flag at your main office, and use the emblem on your marketing materials including packaging, advertisements, stationery and website; and
  • given a Grant of Appointment (official certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy.

Winners have reported benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale.

Perthshire is full of exciting and innovative businesses and what would be a better way to be recognised and rewarded for their contribution to the local economy, than to celebrate with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise?

In 2016, Managing Director of Merlin ERD Ltd, Iain Hutchison, described his award as “a magnificent honour – to win not one but two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is an exceptional achievement. It is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of this team; it reinforces our position as industry leaders in advanced drilling technologies on a global scale”.

Applications for 2022 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise opened in May 2021 and the closing date for entries will be the first week of September 2021. Further information is available online.

The very process of entering can be a worthwhile and fruitful process in itself.
Queens Award IH DH with provost and brigadier 2000x1603

Iain Hutchison is a Queens Award For Enterprise winner.

Photo Credit: Daily Record

To apply for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise your organisation can be a business or non-profit and as well as the essential list below, each category has additional entry criteria.

  • be based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)
  • file its Company Tax Returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management
  • have at least two full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents
  • demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility

International Trade

To apply for the International Trade award, you must also:

  • have made a minimum of £100,000 in overseas sales in the first year of your entry and show year-on-year growth;
  • prove that your organisation has achieved outstanding growth in overseas earnings relative to your business size and sector;
  • prove steep year-on-year growth (without dips) in overseas sales over 3 years - or substantial year-on-year growth (without dips) over 6 years.


To apply for the Innovation award, you must also:

  • have an innovation that has not been sold before;
  • have had your innovation available on the market for at least 2 years;
  • have recovered all the investments made in your innovation or show that the innovation will recover its full costs in future;
  • show outstanding commercial success as a result of innovation over 2 years - or continuous commercial success over 5 years.

Your innovation should be in one of the following categories:

  • invention, design or production of goods;
  • performance of services;
  • marketing and distribution;
  • after-sale support of goods or services.

Sustainable Development

To apply for the Sustainable Development award, you must also:

  • show how you have achieved outstanding sustainable development for more than 2 years;
  • provide evidence of the benefits or positive outcomes of your actions or interventions.

Promoting Opportunity through Social mobility

To apply for this award, your organisation must also have supported people from disadvantaged backgrounds in improving their job skills and their chances of finding work. This includes doing one or more of the following, for at least 2 years:

  • providing work experience or careers advice;
  • mentoring;
  • offering interview and job-related training;
  • making sure your recruitment process is open to everyone.

You’ll need to prove the benefits for:

  • the people you’ve supported;
  • your organisation;
  • your employees;
  • the wider community.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are free to enter. You can apply for more than one award. You’ll need to:

  • create an account and register your details;
  • answer questions about your eligibility - this should take less than 15 minutes;
  • submit your application by midday on 8 September 2021.

Apply Now >

For assistance with your application, or to chat the process through in detail, please contact:

02 June 2021 By Nicola Martin