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Business Categories #MakeUKAwards

Business Growth and Strategy

This award has been developed to recognise the most dynamic business growth based on an actively managed and consistently delivered growth strategy. This could include implementation of a new export strategy, business expansion or product diversification.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Demonstrated overseas market share growth and globalisation strategy
  • Investment made to increase production digitalisation in order to support industry-beating growth objectives
  • Overcame challenges to enter new markets or new industry segment
  • Investment made in management/staff/apprentices training to upskill the workforce and increase productivity
  • Developed new products/service which led to significant business secured from new customers
  • Increased distribution base 

Developing Future Talent

This award has been developed to recognise those that have done the most to promote diversity, develop talent and build skills amongst their employees. This could also include promoting engineering and manufacturing careers through activities within the community.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Promoted equality, diversity and inclusion through workplace initiatives
  • Improved recruitment, retention and promotion for minority groups
  • Implemented upskilling or retraining programme to meet skills gap and bring in new talent
  • Implemented apprenticeship or Kickstart Scheme to recruit young talent
  • Improved or increased digital skills in the workplace to support digital manufacturing future
  • Developed a programme to visit local primary and secondary schools to talk about business and career opportunities within the sector
  • Collaborative community activity to drive/promote manufacturing

Energy & Sustainability

This award has been developed to recognise those that have done the most to improve overall environmental performance and enhance sustainability. This could have been achieved through efficiency savings in the use of raw materials, energy, water; the adoption of clean technologies; improved waste management and recycling; development of greener products; and/or more generally changing operational processes to increase environmental efficiency. It could be part of an initiative to commit to and/or plan for Net Zero by 2050 or earlier. 

Examples include (but are not limited to): 

  • Cut the company’s onsite carbon footprint through energy efficiency and/or use of renewables
  • Addressed the environmental impact of waste and resource use
  • Promoted environmental awareness internally and externally
  • Redesigned supply chains or business models, or introducing new products that reduce whole lifecycle impacts
  • Nature-based actions to enhance bio-diversity

Health and Safety

This award has been developed to recognise progress in improving the occupational health and safety culture of the workplace by introducing new or developing existing initiatives. This could include initiatives that tackle work-related ill-health, especially occupational stress, work-related musculoskeletal disorders and occupational lung disease. Other initiatives include promoting broader ownership of health and safety, simplifying risk management, anticipating and tackling new health and safety challenges, and promoting the benefits of an effective health and safety strategy. 

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Implemented programmes looking at occupational stress, work-related musculoskeletal disorders or occupational lung disease
  • Implemented programmes to improve employee safety including the reduction of accident rates
  • Implemented a programme to reduce sickness absence
  • Improved understanding of compliance through an educational programme


This award celebrates innovations executed through new products, processes, markets and business models. Such innovations will be governed by strategic intent and have driven greater productivity, efficiency and or business growth, within the last three years. 

Examples include (but are not limited to): 

  • New product or process innovation supported by investment in digital manufacturing technologies
  • Investment made in a technology that is new to your sector
  • Driving a collaboration partnership – in the supply chain or university – to bring a new manufactured solution to the market
  • Improved efficiencies and productivity outcomes through innovative ways of working
  • A new business model to take the business in a new direction
  • New product to market

Manufacturing Matters 

This award has been developed to recognise a company and/or collaboration that demonstrates exceptional adaptability and resilience to impact their business and improve lives and society.

This year we are specifically focussed on manufacturing companies who can demonstrate a positive societal impact as a result of their practices and/or products. We are looking for inspiring stories from UK manufacturers who have supported or enhanced their local community, network, or environment. 

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Promoted company-wide volunteer projects for employees to participate in
  • Set-up fundraising activities to raise money for charity
  • Implemented a health and well-being programme to support your employees and their families
  • Offered work placements or training for those at risk of unemployment
  • Adapted your business and operating model to help community needs, for example offering your site as a vaccination centre
  • Transformed your business to support the fight against the coronavirus by using your skills, innovation, technologies, and engineering expertise
  • Developed a new, innovative product/service that demonstrates the value and contribution of manufacturing to society

SME of the year 

This award has been developed to champion businesses with less than 250 employees who have blazed a trail within the manufacturing sector. They will have led by example and developed progressive best practice for others in the industry. They will have shown exceptional initiative, boldness and dynamism, as well as exemplary management practices. 

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Exceptionally productive business spending/investment
  • Adoption of new technologies that increased productivity and capacity
  • Having deep ambition to scale in the future
  • Where staff have grown with the SME through its journey
  • Innovation and research supported and funded, even if total capital limited
  • Diversification in product or service offering, showcasing the business’s agility as an SME to meet changing demand