By Alex Evans, Editorial Director of National Business Awards

New categories for the National Business Awards acknowledge the contribution of the e-commerce industry to the UK recovery, the role played by enabler organisations in the public and private sector, and those who have transformed their businesses in the recession.

Commenting on key changes to this year’s categories and criteria, Alex Evans, Editorial Director of the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange said: “This year’s programme has been redesigned to reflect trends across the public and private sector - and a new context for excellence in more challenging times”.

While some new categories have been added, some have been updated to incorporate awards previously sponsored by government agencies. The Transformational Change of the Year Award, for example, incorporates key elements of last year’s Better Regulation Award - recognising organisations from the public and private sector that have refocused and restructured to achieve more with less - improving efficiency, financial performance and customer experience.”

Two brand new awards have been added to the programme in response to trends identified through analysis of finalists over the last two years, as Evans explains:

A number of organisations whose primary aim is to enable businesses to perform better have been recognised as their own growth and financial performance has improved. The Business Enabler of the Year Award, sponsored by BlackBerry, was thus created to provide a platform for all of those organisations that enable businesses to realise their full potential; working collaboratively to add value beyond the core product or service.

Another major trend identified through the programme has been the burgeoning e-commerce industry, exemplified by the likes of ASOS.com — the Grant Thornton Mid-cap Business of the Year in 2009 — and Cheapflights.com — a finalist for 3i Private Business of the Year in 2010. We have partnered with IMRG, a trade body in the online retail space, to create the criteria for two new awards — Online Business of the Year, sponsored by WorldPay, and Small Online Business of the Year.”

Full details of the categories and criteria for this year’s programme can be found at www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk— where you can register your entry and find categories that you may wish to nominate partners, suppliers or even clients for.

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