Next Tuesday, September 10, is the entry deadline for the 2013 Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, and businesses and entrepreneurs across the County are being urged to enter before it’s too late.

With the deadline fast approaching, Sponsors of the Awards want to see as many firms and individuals take part as possible to make the competition even bigger and better than last year.

Peter Scott, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry, says: “We’re delighted with the tremendous response we have had to the Awards this year, but would like to remind potential entrants that there is still time to get submissions in.  Winning an Award offers great opportunities.  Winning can provide a chance to showcase the company to customers and suppliers, winning can deliver credibility and status and winning can also raise profile, therefore opening doors to new customers and suppliers.  Plus, an Award paves the way for considerable press coverage.” 

To increase a company’s chances of reaching the Award finals, Award Sponsors suggest:

  • Timescale – Establish what facts and figures are needed and what evidence, testimonials and examples are required. Delegate to staff, making each responsible for a section on the entry. Entering, and especially, winning awards are great for team building, so involve as many people as possible in compiling the entry
  • Attention to detail – If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.  Give accurate facts rather than a wordy explanations
  • Read the criteria – Pay attention to the questions asked on the form. Judges will want to compare the entrants, so it is important to read the criteria and stick to it
  • Find the right category – Check each category definition to make sure the award entered is the correct one for the business. The categories are diverse and the one which may be initially rejected as being inappropriate could be the one in which the company shines
  • Be honest – Highlight company strengths and provide evidence of development and success.  Instead of writing that the company grew ‘substantially’, back this up with statistics such as the company sales revenue grew by x percent or we recruited x new staff as a result
  • Back up materials – The award categories allow entrants to submit back up or support materials. Entrants could consider including materials such as case studies, photographs of products, press coverage and testimonials from clients

Categories open for entry are:

  • Apprenticeship Training Award sponsored by Superior
  • Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan
  • Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Barclays
  • Dorset Tourism Award, co-sponsored by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Liz Lean PR
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University
  • Hays Employee of the Year Award
  • KPMG & Lester Aldridge Company of the Year Award
  • Nuffield Health Excellence in Customer Service Award
  • Princecroft Willis Family Business Award
  • Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by the Dolphin Shopping Centre

Entrants can submit an application via or by printing off an entry form and submitting a paper-based entry. Entry to the competition is free, and entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Shortlisted entries will be decided by the end of October and the Award winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner in November.

The Awards are also backed by the South’s leading radio station Wave 105.  For further information about the Awards or to purchase tickets for the Gala Dinner, please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812.  Individual Awards are judged by key business people across Dorset who are chosen by the Award Sponsor(s).