Skip to main content

Which awards category should I enter?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Advice

Prospective applicants often ask us what we're looking for and whether they can apply for more than one category, so here's some top tips to help you decide if you've got what it takes to win a Queen's Award.

Question marks
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Véronique Debord-Lazaro

Check if you're eligible

Firstly, you'll need to meet the overarching eligibility criteria of being a self-contained enterprise that employs at least 2 full time UK employees or part time equivalents, be based in the UK and file tax returns with HMRC. You'll also need to demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility.

Register an account

It's well worth registering an account, and then checking the additional criteria for each category. You can download a copy of each category's application form to help you plan your answers. While this will give you an overview, you'll need to complete all forms online and you'll find hints and tips throughout the application forms.

On average, it can take up to 72 hours to complete an application but it depends on how well equipped you are to respond to each question. We'd love to hear from you on the time you spent working on an application and how you found the process.

Choose a category

So, what are the categories about and what do you need to demonstrate?

Sustainable Development

On Sustainable Development, we are interested in the products, services or business practices (or any combination of those) that have improved your commercial performance.

International Trade

On International Trade, we are focussed on your overseas sales and particularly, your export or international trade strategy, ie. What did you set out to achieve and what did you deliver?

Promoting Opportunity

On Promoting Opportunity, we are interested in social mobility programmes that help people from disadvantaged backgrounds into successful working lives.


Innovation, we are looking for an innovative product, service or business model (ie, your novel marketing strategy) and the impact of that innovation in terms of your customers/clients/commercial success/other companies and markets, for example.

Start now

Our closing date is midday on Friday 2 September so I would advise you to start now and submit early.

Still haven’t decided which category to enter? We had 6 double winners in 2016 so it’s certainly possible to be recognised in more than one category!

Nichola Bruno
The Secretary, Queen's Awards for Enterprise Office

Subscribe to updates from this blog, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sharing and comments

Share this page

Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.