2021 Queen’s Awards winners prove it’s never too early – or late – to start exporting
The 2021 list of Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners was published yesterday (29 April), showing a diverse group of exporting businesses triumphing in the International Trade category.
This category, the competition’s largest with 122 out of 205 winners this year, is supported by the Institute of Export & International Trade, with director general Marco Forgione acting as a judge.
Queen’s Awards recognition for international trade achievements go to companies that display three consecutive years of export sales growth.
Now in their 55th year, the awards are considered the UK’s most prestigious in business, with winners allowed to fly the Queen’s Awards flag at their main office and use the awards logo on marketing materials.
Never too early or late to export
Forgione commented: “The Queen’s Awards show that all sort of companies can export – from long-established firms breaking into previously untapped markets to new companies that have built exporting into their DNA from the start.
He added that the winners of the Queen’s Awards “prove it is never too early or late to start thinking about ways to internationalise your business”.
He noted that winning businesses “have clearly taken very certain steps to develop their international trade – by building the necessary customs and trade expertise in-house”.
Complimentary IOE&IT membership
To this end, the IOE&IT offers winners of the International Trade category a year’s free membership. “Accessing IOE&IT training and expertise can help your business avoid the pitfalls and build value overseas quickly – a shortcut to success,” Forgione said.
Services and technology dominate
This year, companies from the services and technology sectors had the most winning international trade entries between them – a combined total of 52 winning entries.
Businesses in food (10 winners), engineering (9), leisure/sport (9), health (8) and education (6) sectors also did well, reflecting the diversity of the UK economy.
Region-wise, winners hail from all parts of the UK, led by those in London and East Anglia.
International trade winners this year included Environmental Street Furniture (ESF), a designer and maker of innovative, high-quality furniture based in Belfast and established in 1998. The firm now exports to 26 countries around the world.
Another international trade winner was East Midlands-based Woolroom, which makes wool-based bedding products. Founded in 2008, Woolroom counts North America as its fastest growing market, comprising nearly 20% of the firm’s total business.
A complete list of Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners across all categories can be found in the London Gazette.