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LONDON, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

* Brits believe competition brings out the best in businesses *

* Winning is important to almost 65% of people *

* The National Business Awards calls for entries from businesses in Gloucestershire *

As Britain prepares for a summer of sport, Steve Backley former javelin world record holder and Olympian turned business motivator and author, calls on British businesses to encourage competition following two polls showing many embrace competition at work.  

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The first report, carried out by the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange, shows that 65% of workers agree winning is important to them, with over two thirds believing healthy competition brings out the best in people and almost 40% acknowledging they enjoy a competitive environment at work.  However, many employees say competitiveness is not encouraged in their workplace enough.  

70% of the workers surveyed in the South West believe healthy competition brings out the best in people, with almost 40% believing that being rewarded for their achievements encourages them to 'up their game'.  However, 79% of employees in the South West say that competitiveness is not encouraged enough in the workplace.

A separate poll of National Business Awards past winners and finalists demonstrates that behind their business success is their willingness to embrace competition and reward. More than 90% say healthy competition is important to their business, while more than two thirds say the main reason they enter awards is to motivate and reward staff.

Almost half believe becoming a finalist or winning a National Business Award has led to improved morale within their company and 95% say even just entering awards has led to an upturn in motivation and healthy competition amongst workers - showing competition inspires people to be better.

Steve Backley said: "Competitiveness is part of our DNA and it naturally causes us to perform better than we otherwise would, through benchmarking ourselves or our businesses against rivals.  Healthy competition plays a key part in the worlds of business and sport, and a positive sporting mentality naturally maximises performance."

The research is published as UBM's flagship awards programme, the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange calls for organisations in Gloucester to enter the 2012 awards. The most respected accolade for business in the UK, the National Business Awards are based on the core principles of recognising business excellence, innovation and ethics across the full spectrum of private, public and third sector enterprises.

The 2011 National Business Awards saw Gloucester's Ovo Energy walk away with the Customer Focus Award.  Stephen Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Ovo Energy said: "Winning an award as prestigious as a National Business Award was such an honour for the Ovo Energy team.  That it recognised our continual dedication to putting customers first and leading the way for the industry was even better."

Organisations from SMEs to FTSE 100s, are invited to register for award categories ranging from the Orange Innovation Award (won in 2011 by Harvard Engineering), to the Santander SME of the Year Award (won in 2011 by 'freemium' publisher ShortList Media) through to Entrepreneur of the Year (won by Paul Lindley, Founder and CEO of Ella's Kitchen in 2011).

The Awards have distinguished themselves by the quality of businesses taking part and the robust judging process. Led by Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone as Chair of Judges, nearly 100 multi discipline CEOs and senior directors participate as judges, bringing their expertise and insight to the three-tier judging process.

Baroness Virginia Bottomley, Chair of Judges said: "During these tough economic times, it is all the more important that we celebrate business success and leadership. These are the means by which wealth, employment and welfare are created. I am proud to Chair the National Business Awards Judges again: identifying and celebrating achievement and competition encourages others to strive for excellence."

Caroline Jackson Levy, CEO of UBM Awards said: "The National Business Awards embraces the spirit of competitiveness and participation; and are all about creating a platform to help your business be the best it can be."

Martin Stiven, Vice President of Business at Orange, part of Everything Everywhere said: "At Orange, we embrace competition as it encourages businesses and people to raise their game. The National Business Awards is the perfect example of embracing the British competitive spirit and business excellence, all of which are central to Orange's company values. We are proud to be part of this year's awards and I wish all entrants the best of luck."

Finalists will be announced in August and winners will be announced at the National Business Awards gala dinner and awards ceremony in London at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Tuesday 13th November. To enter or nominate for this year's campaign visit for more information.

The National Business Awards supports Help for Heroes, a charity that offers support and advice for wounded soldiers.

Awards categories 2012

Categories open to enter:

  • The Orange Innovation Award
  • The BlackBerry Growth Strategy of the Year
  • The ICAEW Sustainability Award
  • The Santander Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year
  • The Huawei Customer Focus Award
  • The Croner Employer of the Year
  • Transformational Change of the Year
  • Start-up Business of the Year
  • Small Online Business of the Year
  • E-commerce Strategy of the Year
  • Business Enabler of the Year
  • The Entrepreneur of the Year

Categories run by nomination only:

  • The Orange Leader of the Year
  • The Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence
  • The 3i International Growth Business of the Year
  • The Non-Executive Director of the Year
  • The Coutts & Co FTSE 100 Business of the Year

Note to editors:

The research for National Business Awards in partnership with Orange was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 27 / 03 / 2012 and 10 / 04 / 2012 amongst a panel resulting in 1,010 UK worker respondents. And between 27 / 03 / 2012 and 12 / 04 / 2012 amongst a panel resulting in 41 past National Business Awards finalist or winner respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

About the National Business Awards
Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange is the UK's most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on excellence, innovation and ethical business.  Now in its eleventh year, the National Business Awards connects the nations' professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round thought leadership and round table events; and is UBM plc's flagship awards programme. Visit for further information or follow us on Twitter @businessawards.

About Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes (H4H) was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry after a profoundly moving visit to Selly Oak Hospital in the summer of 2007. Bryn and Emma met some extraordinarily brave young men who had been badly wounded and they just wanted to do something to help.  The charity was launched in October 2007 and provides direct, practical support for those wounded, injured or who have become sick in the line of duty and their families. 

About Orange UK

Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators. With almost 131 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates.

In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population, and 3G coverage to more than 93%.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited.

On July 1 2010, the company became part of Everything Everywhere, one company that runs two of Britain's most famous brands - Orange UK and T-Mobile UK - with plans to transform the industry by giving customers instant access to everything, everywhere, offering them the best value, best choice and best network coverage in the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is the UK’s biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million people and more than 720 retail stores across the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is registered at Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9BW under the registered company number 02382161.

For more information please call the Orange Press Office 0870-3731500, or visit

For further information or interview opportunities contact:

Rachel Branigan
PR Manager
UBM Awards and Partnerships
Tel: +44(0)207-955-3843
Email: [email protected]

Annelle Botha
Head of PR and Marketing
UBM Awards and Partnerships
Email: [email protected]


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