We’re delighted to confirm our 2022 categories.

Entries are now open via our online platform. Simply click the ‘view entry forms’ button for more information and to enter.

 

General

Our highest accolade for providers of growth finance. This Growth Finance Provider of the Year award will recognise an exemplary company, one that has a clear and demonstrable focus on delivering ‘more than finance’ to its customers and can evidence impact on UK businesses.

The Impact Through Finance award invites finance providers to submit a case study of one of their *SME customers who they have supported to achieve business success.

*The SME must have received some or all of the funding in the past 12 months.
*The finance provider submitting the entry must be able to demonstrate how the proceeds have directly supported growth. When assessing the SME’s success, judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, customer satisfaction and business/industry impact.

The Best New Finance Business award is presented to a NEW growth finance provider that has launched in the past 24 months and can show a demonstrable business impact on its SME customers. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

The Growth Finance Broker of the Year award will be presented to a broker that has significantly improved access to growth finance, matching up borrowers and lenders to deliver all round success. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of success, customer satisfaction and feedback.

The Specialist Lender of the Year award recognises the creative use of finance to businesses in a specific sector, or in a specialist or niche way that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, a project or a wide-reaching service that has created results worthy of recognition. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business, sector or industry.

The Best Fund Manager – Credit award will be presented to the Fund Manager that can demonstrate a clear impact on SMEs through their debt-based, alternative credit or direct lending funds over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, project or innovation that has created outstanding results. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

The Deal of the Year award recognises an outstanding finance transaction, one that provided business critical finance that deserves a place in a hall of fame. The deal might be a significant use of a new type of finance, or financing a business to reach new heights, access finance for the first time or solve real world challenges of people or planet. Judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of what makes the deal unique, valuable or noteworthy.

 

Business Banking

The Best Business Banking Innovation award will be presented to the bank that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact for customers over the past 12 months through an innovative product or service. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on a specific business, type of business and/or the business community.

The Best Bank for SMEs award will be presented to the bank providing an SME offering that has delivered tailored solutions that demonstrate a clear understanding of the banking issues faced by innovative growth businesses and a genuine desire to address them. Examples evidencing this might be initiatives to reduce bureacracy, guidance on better business banking processes, or increased digitisation of SME related services. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of an overall commitment to ease of onboarding and transactions, innovation, customer experience, customer satisfaction, feedback, and on a specific business, type of business and/or the business community.

The Best Bank for SMEs award will be presented to the bank providing a defined offering for Start Ups, and can demonstrate a clear understanding of the banking issues faced by new businesses. Examples evidencing this might be initiatives to reduce application time, cost and onboarding support packages. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of an overall commitment to ease of onboarding and costs, innovation, customer experience, feedback and customer ratings from the start-up business community.

 

Specialist

The Direct Lending Platform of the Year award will be presented to the platform providing a growth finance product or service that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, a project or a wide-reaching service offering that has created results worthy of recognition. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

The Best Export Finance award will be presented to the lender offering a product or service that has enabled SMEs to sell their goods or services abroad. It’s open to lenders of all shapes and sizes that are committed to helping SMEs reach new markets, and considers the full range of export finance support – including letters of credit, pre-export funding, insurance, and more. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of overseas growth, new market opportunities, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

The Best Invoice Finance Provider award will be presented to an invoice finance provider that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, project or a wide-reaching service or innovation that has created outstanding results. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

The Best Leasing or Hire Purchase Product award celebrates a finance provider allowing SMEs to access valuable equipment that would otherwise be too costly to use, thus helping them to grow. It’s open to any company providing leasing or hire purchase agreements to SMEs, regardless of the equipment type. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

The Asset-based Lender of the Year award will go to an outstanding growth finance provider using the assets of its SME customers as security for lending. Recognised by the British Business Bank as one of the fastest-growing sources of capital for SMEs in the UK, asset-based lending is celebrated for the first time at this year’s awards. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of success, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

The Venture Debt Provider of the Year award will be presented to a provider of venture debt that has delivered a clear and demonstrable impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, a project or a wide-reaching service that has created business results worthy or recognition. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

The Best P2P Business Lender award will be presented to the P2P lender providing a growth finance product or service that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact to SMEs over the past 12 months. The platform will demonstrate a best-in-class digital platform, transparency, as well as ample resources for both borrowers and lenders. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business or industry.

Open to entrants in all award categories that have placed a particular focus on sustainable finance in their service or offering. The judges will assess certifications, transparency and disclosure, independent ratings, best practice, the sustainability of outcomes, delivery of sustainable finance commitments and embedding sustainability goals into company culture.

The Buy Now Pay Later Provider of the year will be presented to the provider that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, a project or a wide-reaching service offering that has created results worthy of recognition. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

 

Thematic

The Best Digital Product or Service award will celebrate a finance provider whose best-in-class digital product/service has helped SMEs to succeed. The award is open to all kinds of digital products, from customer-facing tools or platforms to back-end processes driving efficiency and improving product offerings. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of impact, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

The Best Marketing Campaign Award will be presented to a company that has delivered an outstanding and impactful marketing campaign to UK businesses over the past 12 months. Measures taken into account include: reach, creative execution, innovation and impact.

The Best Customer Experience award recognises a company delivering a consistent brand experience to UK SMEs, challenging behaviours and assumptions of business lending. Measures taken into account include: service standards, net promoter score, customer surveys and feedback.

The Best Place to Work award will be presented to a provider of growth finance with a clear and demonstrable focus on culture and the employee experience. The award recognises a company’s diversity and inclusion, training and development, Glassdoor ratings, employee benefits, and employee engagement.

This Best Covid response award recognises a finance provider that stepped up to the challenges of UK businesses as a result of Covid. This new award considers a company’s ability to work with and alongside government schemes to pivot, innovate, reach and support businesses most affected by the pandemic.

The Innovative Product of the Year award recognises a growth finance product that has delivered a clear and demonstrable innovation during the last 12 months. This product will have created outstanding results for an SME, a sector, or the industry as a whole through innovation. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of innovation, impact on business/industry and customer feedback.

 

 

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