With the Great British Entrepreneur Awards open for entries, we wanted to share with you some tips on how to write your application.

GBEA winners 2021 screenshot

We sat down with Donna O’Toole, founder of August Recognition to discuss the six steps to achieve awards show success - whether that be at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, or any other awards show. 

  1. Impact

The impact of what you’re doing as a business is really important, yet it’s something that people often forget to measure. If you can measure the impact you’re having, and substantiate your story, qualitatively and quantitatively - then you’re going to have far more chance of success in awards applications.  

What impact are you making in your industry and to your customers? Can you include customer feedback? How can you back up the impact you have made through your product or service? 

Without knowing what impact you’re making, it’s hard to understand how well you’re really doing as a business.

  1. Insight 

Another element which is really important, and often missing from awards entries is insight. When filling out awards applications people will often discuss what they’re doing now and their future plans, forgetting to add insight into how they got to where they are today and insight into the decisions they have made to make their business happen.

Why are you where you are today? How did you create your business, was it from your own experiences? How does your product or service benefit the world of business?  - These are all questions you should be answering in your awards entry so that the judges can get a true insight into your business, and the story behind it. 

  1. Improve

How are you improving your business to benefit society? Are you disrupting your industry with an innovative product or service?

Every business should have a purpose to improve or resolve, whether it be for individuals or businesses. When creating an entry, the awards programme is going to want to see what area your business is creating improvements in, and how. 

  1. Inspire 

This is where you want to talk about your entrepreneurial journey, the ups, the downs and all the inbetweens. You should focus on the hurdles that you’ve overcome to get to where you are today with your business.

What is the story and purpose behind your business? Awards programmes, especially the Great British Entrepreneur Awards love a successful business story. So showing how you’ve gotten to where you are today, the inspiration behind it, and how you are now inspiring others will be key to being pushed through the awards process.

This is the stage where you can talk without needing to show evidence, so be open, honest, and most importantly inspiring.  

  1. Innovate 

How are you different from other businesses applying for these awards programmes? 

Whether you’re using new technologies, have environmentally friendly approaches, or marketing groundbreaking products or services, it’s really important to show how you are doing something new and innovative to ensure that you stand out against others applying for the same awards. 

By nature, awards programmes are extremely competitive, for example, last year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards shows received over 5000 entries - so as you can imagine, the judges are looking for those that stand out, and are disruptors within their industry.

  1. Influence 

How are you influencing your industry to do things in a better way than they did before? 

Since the pandemic, it’s become far more important for businesses to be doing something for good, which will in return lead their customers and industry to also do good. Whether this is being environmentally friendly, saving people money and time, or standing with societal issues, whatever it may be it’s important that you are having an influential impact - in a positive way. 


As well as providing her top six steps to awards success, Donna also told us her top tip on how to write a good entry, “Who wins when you win? Take the focus off yourself and think about who you can help, and who you can make a difference to by winning this award”. 

You can find out if your business is aligned with all of the 6 pillars of awards show success, by filling out the August Recognition scorecard here. 

For more information on why entering awards programmes is important for business, and how you can have the best chance of winning, watch the full conversation here