A major research project aimed at raising the standard of one of Lancashire’s leading business awards has been completed.
The Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, commissioned the study by researchers from the Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) to raise the standards of the annual prize-giving, which opens for applications on Tuesday, January 14.
It has been bench-marked against the world’s leading business awards and fed the findings of the research in to the entry requirements for the awards and the initial round of judging which gets underway later this year.
Tony Morgan, head of business engagement at headline sponsor Superfast Lancashire, said it was delighted to be partnering with this year’s BIBAs and is excited to unearth outstanding achievement and excellence in local businesses.
He said: “Superfast Lancashire is bringing high speed fibre broadband to 97 per cent of the county by the end of next year so we know all about going the extra mile.
“You can work smarter, faster and better with superfast broadband.
“It will help you improve productivity and use your resources more effectively, so it is fitting we celebrate achievements of outstanding local businesses who are doing just that.
“Working more efficiently helps improve productivity which is a huge part of what makes you an award-winning business, and that’s exactly what superfast broadband is proven to deliver.
“The BIBAs is recognised as the county’s leading business awards and we wanted to be a part of the one they all want to win.”
Norman Tenray, vice-president of awards’ organisers the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce who is a judge for the BIBAs, said the research would continue in the coming months.
He said: “The next steps will involve production of more in-depth questions and criteria for the judging process.
“It will also help to develop a series of boot camp training sessions the BIBAs will once again be hosting for its finalists to ensure we have the best chance of winning an award.
“These awards are known as ‘the one they all want to win’ for a reason and we recognise that our finalists do not rest on their laurels, so we cannot afford to either.”
The research looked at some of the world’s leading business awards including the ‘Stevies’ (American Business Awards and International Business Awards), the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards and, in the UK, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and Best Business Awards.
It also studied regional examples of best practice from awards such as London Loves Excellence and the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s annual prize-giving, along with speaking with LUMS academics.
Dr Ellie Hamilton, associate dean for enterprise at LUMS and a BIBAs judge, said the research will deliver “enhanced relevance and rigour” to the selection process.
She added: “This positions the BIBAs as an even more assured indicator of business excellence across the numerous award categories and enhances the credibility of the awards recipients in their achievements.”
In 2013, more than 900 business leaders attended the awards’ ceremony at the Blackpool Tower and were entertained by an all-star cast including host and television star, Eamonn Holmes, X-Factor winner Matt Cardle and Marcus Bentley, the voice of hit reality television show, Big Brother.