July 18, 2024

Hilton, Manchester Deansgate


The UK's first national business sustainability awards exclusively for small businesses

We celebrate the work of small businesses doing the right things for people and the planet – sometimes in small but highly effective ways.

These businesses move the needle, helping us transform the economy into a more just and fair economy – one that is fit for the future. We celebrate their work and their impact and, through the awards, we’re helping to share their innovative ideas, stories and best practice. We hope that small businesses across the country can follow their lead.

What do we mean by ‘good’? Well firstly, we believe in the power of businesses big and small to transform lives and change the world. The way business leaders run their businesses creates impact: good and bad. A good business is one that focuses on the good, understands its impacts and takes conscious and ongoing steps to ensure that not only does it reduce harmful impacts, but that this impact is good – for people, for communities, for the planet. These are organisations that choose to invest profits in creating more positive impacts in the world. This, for us, is the definition of a good business.

Our work aims to build a community of best practices across an annual programme, launching at our first annual awards ceremony in March 2023.

We are a nation of small businesses

Small and micro businesses make up 99% of UK businesses and account for around 48% of employment and 33% of turnover. According to official UK Government statistics, in 2021 there were 5.3 million privately owned micro-businesses and 211,000 privately owned small businesses. Small businesses employ between ten and 49 full-time equivalent employees (FTE); micro businesses employ between one and nine  FTE.

Small and micro businesses include voluntary and community bodies (also known as civil society organisations).

In some instances, classification in terms of the number of FTE employees might present difficulties and uncertainties, for example, for the gig economy, franchises, companies that employ seasonal workers or businesses that employ few people but have a large turnover or market share. In these situations, we will adopt an inclusive approach to defining small and micro businesses.


of UK businesses


of UK employment


of UK turnover


Entry is open to all organisations and industry professionals who qualify for the definition of micro and small businesses.


There are 15 awards in various categories, all aimed at the recognition of excellence in business sustainability.

Sponsorship Options

Align your company’s brand with excellence in small business sustainability performance.

A big business starts small.

Sir Richard Branson

Never start a business just to 'make money'. Start a business to make a difference.

Marie Forleo

Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.

Maya Angelou

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