The Independent Awards 2021


Who can apply?


Each award has its own specific criteria, so please do check the relevant category page for details. In general though, entrants should be the founder of any small independent business that:

  • Is based in the UK 
  • Is founder-owned (i.e. the founder is the sole trader, in a partnership or where they own at least 51% of the limited company)
  • Has no more than 30 full-time employees (or the equivalent) over the course of a year

Alternatively, anyone can enter on the founder’s behalf, as long as the business fulfils the above.

Is there an entry fee?


No! Thanks to our fantastic small business supporters Dell Technologies, NatWest and Royal Mail there is no entry fee. All you have to do is complete our short application form on behalf of yourself or a small business you admire and you’re done.

What are The Independent Award prizes?


The total prize fund is £100,000 which will be split between the winners as follows:

  • Five categories have two winners (the first will receive £10,000, the second will receive £5,000).
  • The People’s Choice Award has one winner of £10,000.
  • Holly’s Fairy Godmother Award has a fund of £10,000 and will be awarded by Holly Tucker and will include mentoring from the Holly & Co team.
  • Additional spotlight prizes can also be awarded from the overall prize fund of £100,000.

What are the criteria for the awards categories?


Each award has its own specific criteria, so please do check the relevant category page in the site for details.

What’s the People’s Choice Award?


Once public voting opens, this award will be chosen by the people so it means the world. It can’t be entered directly but any Nominee who gets the most public votes wins, so it’s time to remind everyone you rock. Whether it’s for your brand, products or impeccable service, the people’s favourite will be awarded £10,000.  

What's Holly's Fairy Godmother Award?


Brand new this year, this award is for that special business (or businesses) with true star potential. Holly knows magic when she sees it, so for this award, the winner(s) will be chosen by the Small Business Fairy Godmother herself. You don’t have to be a Nominee (it’s open to all entrants), and Holly will split £10,000 between the winner(s) at her discretion. They will also receive mentorship from Holly & Co.

How do I vote?


Click the ‘VOTE’ button next to the nominee you wish to vote for and enter your email address. You will then receive an email asking you to verify your email address. It is important that you do this. If you don’t, your vote will not be counted. You can vote once in each category, but only need to verify your email once.

How many times can I vote?


You can vote once in each category, but you only need to verify your email once.


If you can’t find the answer to your question above, please email us at [email protected]