RSM International, the global audit, tax and advisory network and sponsor of The European Business Awards, has announced that the manufacturing sector has excelled with eight companies being named 'National Champions' in the first stage of the 2014-15 Europe-wide programme, out of 65 in the UK selected.
A panel of independent judges, including business leaders and senior academics, selected the National Champions after the European Business Awards engaged with over 24,000 companies this year, a 40% increase from last year and a record-breaking number for the competition, now in its eighth year.
Many of the categories saw a rise of new entrants, with key increases in the Business of the Year Award category in the turnover brackets of €0-25m and €150m or higher, and the RSM Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Manufacturing was the highest represented sector this year with over 28 companies entering.
Of the eight manufacturing companies going through as national champions in the UK, four are competing for the UKTI Award for Innovation, including Sprue Aegis, the UK designer, and marketer of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Also competing in the Import/Export Award category are Douglas Gill International, the makers of sailing equipment and clothing, and Igloo Books, the fastest growing online publisher in the world today.
Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM International, said: "The UK manufacturing sector has seen steady recovery from the downturn and as the 11th largest manufacturing nation in the world, it is no surprise that it has produced so many National Champions. All these companies have shown commercial excellence and we wish them all the best in the next round of the competition."
A list of the National Champions can be found at: http://www.businessawardseurope.com/
The next round requires the National Champions to make a presentation video, telling their unique story and explaining their business success. The judges will view all of the National Champions' videos, and award the best of this group the coveted 'Ruban d'Honneur' status. Ruban d'Honneur recipients will then go on to be part of the grand final in 2015.
Separately, the National Champion videos will be made public on the European Business Awards website www.businessawardseurope.com as part of a two stage public vote, which will decide the 'National Public Champions' for each country. Last year over 93,000 votes were cast as companies from across Europe were publicly supported by their clients, staff and peers, as well as the general public.
Set up to recognise and reward excellence, best practice and innovation in companies of all sizes and sectors across the European business community, The European Business Awards is an independent awards programme supported by key influencers including EU Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht.