• Smith & Williamson support campaign to recognise Growth Champion of the Year

Following its successful launch last year, the Growth Investor Awards is now open for entries with an updated programme for 2016. Smith & Williamson – a leading accountancy and financial services group which is at the heart of the scale-up agenda – is supporting the campaign as sponsor of the new Growth Champion of the Year award.

Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership, commented: “Our inaugural Growth Investor Awards were very well supported by the industry and government last year. Over 300 movers and shakers game together to support 36 finalists and celebrate with 12 overall winners. It was great to hear both The Financial Secretary to the Treasury and the Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise acknowledging the key role played by growth investors in helping small businesses to reach their full potential.” 

Open to any organisation or individual putting investment to work in SMEs, the Growth Investor Awards recognise those enabling start up and ‘scale up’ businesses to realise their full potential and drive Britain’s economic recovery. The Growth Investor Awards form part of Intelligent Partnership’s year round programme of content to highlight best practice and thought-leadership in alternative investment, which includes its award-winning industry reports and masterclasses.

The Growth Champion of the Year award is open to any UK-based scale-up with a turnover of no less than £3m in 2016 has best used EIS, SEIS or VCT investment for growth. Focusing on how the investment and associated support has been optimised, judges will consider a range of growth metrics including revenues, job creation, and regional / international expansion.

Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson – sponsor of Growth Champion of the Year – commented: “It is in the interests of government to make Britain a hotbed for innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth. Tax incentives like EIS are therefore vital for businesses seeking the growth capital needed to scale. We are delighted to sponsor this new Growth Champion of the Year award because it demonstrates how this type of investment is being optimised to move Britain forward.”

The deadline for submissions is 24th June. Any company or individual meeting the criteria can enter the Growth Investor Awards by filling in an entry form and paying an entry fee. As part of Smith & Williamson’s sponsorship, there is no entry fee for Growth Champion of the Year.

A two stage judging process will begin with an initial shortlist to identify finalists in each category who will be announced in July. Finalist entries will then be submitted for a second round of judging, with a panel of at least three judges for each award category to ensure a robust assessment.

Daniel Kiernan, Research Director of Intelligent Partnership & Chair of Judges commented: “Talent and technology were identified as two key enablers of growth last year, with providers supporting their investee companies with guidance and networks alongside investment. Comments from our panel of 35 independent judges, which helped to identify these themes, have been incorporated into individual Feedback Reports sent to all of last year’s finalists. This aligns with Intelligent Partnership’s mission to enable improvement through industry research and analysis – and creates value for everyone participating in the Growth Investor Awards.”

Representing different sections of the fund management, alternative investment and SME community, an Advisory Board of influential leaders will once again offer guidance on shortlisting and judging while encouraging the best from their respective networks to participate in the awards.

Founding Advisory Board member Sherry Coutu – entrepreneur, investor and co-founder of the Scale Up Institute – commented: Competitive advantage doesn’t go to the nations that focus on creating companies; it goes to the nations that focus on scaling them. The Growth Investor Awards recognise the broader contribution of the SME fund management community to scale up growth and those best optimising investment and support.”

Winners in 14 award categories will be revealed at a black tie dinner for 350 movers and shakers at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square on 3rd November.

All information about the Growth Investor Awards, including award categories, criteria and how to enter, can be found at www.growthinvestorawards.com.

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