Judges tips

Want some last-minute advice from some of this year’s judges as you put together your application before the deadline? Of course you do!

Our judges are all recognised leaders in their fields, and very generously give up their time as volunteers to help pick the best-of-the-best in the BIBAs.

While they have a strict code of conduct they must follow, and judging protocols to adhere to in order to ensure the competition is fair and unbiased, they’re chosen for their business acumen and experience.

Since the BIBAs opened for entries in January, we’ve been asking them for their words of wisdom and for insights into what they’ll be looking for in the applications.

Barry Fellowes, from Hays, the recruitment people, is judging the Start-Up Business of the Year award and told us: “As a new judge, I am looking for a business which stands out from the rest, and isn’t afraid of doing things with their mark, rather than following what others have done previously. I’m a firm believer that people are the biggest asset to a business, so speaking with business owners and employees that have a vision and personality is going to be a big factor for me!”

‘Mr BIBAs’ himself, chief executive of Obas UK, Norman Tenray, is judging the most prestigious award in the competition, Business of the Year. He had this to say: “As a judge I am always looking for those companies that are clearly doing well but also doing things differently, creating opportunities and having a clear purpose in what they are trying to achieve.”

When it comes to the application, Norman added: “In terms of a great entry, I think it’s worth carefully considering exactly what you are being asked to prepare. The awards’ criteria tend to be fairly specific so a great entry form will be sure to cover all the bases that the judges have been specifically asked to assess, whilst also acting as a potential springboard for further discussions during the face-to-face part of the judging process.”

Meanwhile, Celia Gaze of the Wellbeing Farm is judging the Green Business of the Year award and said: “I’m going to be looking for those entrants who are not only sustainable, but using sustainability as a real strategy to underpin and grow their business. I want to see real outcomes which have impacted their staff, the planet and the community in which they work. I’m keen to look for those companies who’ve really turned sustainability into their core business purpose.”

Again, as with previous judges’ comments, a number of clear themes stand out: vision, purpose, innovation, people and demonstrable success. Keep these in mind as you sweat to get your application in by 5pm this coming Friday, 31st March 2023.

Past winners stories
Judges tips
Interviews start from 18th May