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Asda Enterprise Growth Award

Recognising businesses that engage, support and do business with small and medium enterprises to drive local economic growth.

The Enterprise Growth Award recognises and rewards larger businesses that are helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including social enterprises, to grow sustainably, employ more people, and develop into new markets; and in so doing, are contributing to the sustainable economic growth of the UK economy.

About SMEs

SMEs, defined as having up to 249 full-time employees, account for 99 per cent of businesses in the UK. In 2012 they employed 14.1 million people, nearly 60% of private sector employment.  Since the economic downturn, nine out of ten unemployed people who found work in the private sector either started up or worked for an SME.  All this makes SMEs extremely important to driving economic recovery and transforming the communities in which they operate.

Yet SMEs face significant barriers to growth, including:

  • Access to finance

  • Access into company’s supply chains

  • Knowledge/skills gaps

  • Capacity to bid for large contracts

  • Lack of time to think beyond the day to day

What the Award will recognise

We are looking for examples where businesses have supported SMEs to grow, for example through:

  • Providing advice and business support

  • Developing innovative financial models

  • Opening access to supply chain opportunities, through open, fair and transparent procurement

And where this support has resulted in clear commercial benefits for the business as well as clear impacts for the SMEs, for example:

  • Job creation

  • Revenue growth

  • New contracts/lines of business/distribution channels opened


We recognise that, due to the nature of business support programmes, the impacts realised tend to be long-term, and can be difficult to evidence in the early years.  Accordingly, we recommend that applicants entering this award have at least a two-year track record of measuring the impacts for SMEs, and the benefits for their business, of the programme.  Programmes with a shorter track record may still apply, but an inability to evidence longer term impacts may make them less competitive against other entries.

The Enterprise Growth Award will identify and celebrate the best practice examples of businesses supporting SMEs; we will use these to inspire others to take action, via our online publications, the Enterprise Growth Checklist and ‘Access to Growth and Innovation: the case for working with SMEs’.