The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, recognising and rewarding their outstanding achievements in the fields of Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

Established by Royal Warrant in 1965, the Awards have a long history of recognising exceptional UK businesses.

This year, there were 7 winners in the North East. For the 2021 round, we want to encourage more businesses to apply, as we know that the North East has amazing potential and many outstanding businesses who deserve to be recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of UK businesses in the fields of:

  • Innovation – In one of the following categories: invention, design or production of goods; Performance of services; marketing and distribution; after sale support of goods and services
  • International trade – Minimum of £100,000 in overseas sales; achieving outstanding growth having regard to the size of the business and sector
  • Sustainable development – achieving outstanding sustainable development for more than 2 years; evidence the benefits or positive outcomes of your actions
  • Promoting opportunity – Are you engaged with your community; helping socially disadvantaged individuals to progress via an apprenticeship scheme/programme/other intervention; how did you develop your programmes and is promoting opportunity embedded in your organisations culture; what are the benefits to those on the programmes

Benefits of winning a Queen’s Award

  • Use a recognised Royal Emblem that will get your business noticed, above and beyond the competition
  • Your company will be globally recognised as an outstanding British brand
  • Your company is likely to increase its sales and growth. Winners reported they have won new business e.g. in Japan and the Middle East
  • Award presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant at your company-opportunity to boost staff morale, gain great press coverage; celebrate with your staff; customers; supply chain; local authority and other stakeholders
  • Representatives from your company attend a Royal Reception

Eligibility criteria

  • Be based in the UK
  • File tax returns with HM Revenue and Customs
  • Be a self-contained enterprise
  • Have at least 2 full-time UK employees or part time equivalents
  • Demonstrate strong corporate responsibility

The next application round is open from 1 May to 9 September 2020. Almost all UK businesses can apply, and the application process is free and straightforward. To find out more, contact the Queen’s Awards Office or visit The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise website.

Application guidance top tips

  • Check eligibility online
  • Plan your responses by downloading the pdf application form
  • Use plain English
  • Provide evidence
  • Tell your story
  • Add collaborators
  • Allow sufficient time


The Queens Award Office is there to give help and advice:
Phone: 02072156880
Website: The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise website
Twitter: @TheQueensAwards

Her Majesty –“Having watched the Awards established in my name grow in stature and influence, I continue to be impressed by the way that they have given opportunity to big organisations and small, enabling them to project themselves on the world stage”