An all-new not-for-profit Awards scheme will donate all proceeds raised to three charities that support young enterprise and young people in the Midlands.
The Midlands Family Business Awards, underwritten by The Wilson Organisation, has been created to find and showcase the Midlands’ best family businesses and their leaders, but as Charlotte Prow, MD of The Wilsons Organisation explains, the Awards also aim to raise significant funds for charities close to the firm’s heart:
“We hope the Awards will raise significant funds for the three chosen charities which are each focussed on creating and providing opportunities for young people. Designed as a not-for-profit venture, all proceeds from the Awards will go to three charities that support young enterprise and young people - The Children’s Society, a leading children's charity committed to making childhood better for all children in the UK and which helps approximately 55,000 children each year; The Willow Foundation that provides special days for seriously ill young adults; and The Venture Foundation, which offers educational, health and fitness programmes to young people considered ‘at risk’ and who have fallen out of the education and care system.”
The Awards launched last week at an event at Leicester’s Hotel Maiyango, attended by representatives of each of the three charities, and already have the backing of sponsors RSM Tenon, Young & Pearce Solicitors, Blusource, Connect Midlands, EFG Private Bank, Aviva, Mitre Group Limited and AXA Elevate, with additional support from Business Link.
Speaking at the event, Darrell West, founder of The Venture Foundation, explained: “The Awards are important to the Midlands region as a whole, as they present a unique opportunity for its family businesses to showcase their achievements and contribution to the regional economy. The Awards are also of significant importance for each of the charities selected by the Awards organisers as beneficiaries of the new scheme. For The Venture Foundation, the financial support we will receive is especially timely as it will be used to create and support a special Individual Scholarship Programme to be run in conjunction with dozens of local sport clubs across the Midlands.”
Awards’ Project Manager Hilary Campton explained: “The Awards are open to any Midlands-based family business regardless of their size or industry sector. There is no charge for making an entry, and submissions can be made easily online at the Awards’ website www.familybusinessawards.co.uk.
“The Awards categories cover our headline ‘Family Business of the year’, sponsored by RSM Tenon, ‘Best development of talent’, ‘Overcoming adversity’, ‘Personal excellence’, ‘Development of international markets’, ‘Business innovation of the year’, ‘Fastest growing family business’, ‘Commitment to the community’, ‘Outstanding contribution by a non-family member’, ‘Leading adviser to family businesses’, and ‘Best newly established family business’.
“Nominations for the Awards open on the 4th May, and entries to all of the ten categories are free. Businesses can nominate themselves for as many categories as they wish, and make submissions on behalf of clients’ or friends’ family businesses,” she said.
Charlotte added: “As a family-owned and run business, Wilsons is strongly committed to the family business sector and to helping its leaders succeed. The time is right to turn the spotlight on the great contribution family businesses and their leaders make, by launching this new Award scheme to celebrate the impact family businesses make here in the Midlands.”
The Awards have secured a panel of independent inspirational judges drawn from leading family businesses from across the UK, and includes James Timpson (MD, Timpson), Tim Storer (MD, Pukka Pies), Peter Thornton (former Chairman of Thorntons plc), Peter Leach (author, Family Businesses: The Essentials), Grant Gordon (Director General, Institute for Family Business), Judy Naake (founder, St Tropez), Carrie Rubins (Director, Pentland Group) and Mark Samworth (Samworth Brothers).
The panel will complete the first stage of judging in July to create a shortlist of five in each award category who will then go forward to the informal interview stage in September. The judges will then select three finalists in each category with all individual winners announced at a glittering Awards ceremony on Thursday 11th November.
The Wilson Organisation, based in Nottingham, provides professional independent
insurance, financial, risk management and corporate finance solutions to businesses and individuals both regionally and nationally. It is a Top 100 UK independent broker and has developed innovative solutions through strong relationships with insurers and financial services providers. For more information, visit: www.wilorg.com, or Tel: 0115 942 0111.