The Independent Awards 2021

Terms & Conditions


These Terms and Conditions govern The Independent Awards 2021. 

It is the responsibility of anyone taking part in the awards, Entrants and Voters, to keep themselves informed as to any updates of these terms, and they acknowledge that any failure to comply with these terms could lead to their disqualification without reasons being given or opportunity for challenge.

  • General
    • The Independent Awards 2021 are owned and managed by HCO Ltd (company no. 04868578) whose registered office is at 149 St Margarets Road, Twickenham, TW1 1RG
    • The Independent Awards 2021 and these terms and conditions will be governed by the laws of England and Wales and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  • Eligibility
    • The Independent Awards 2021 are open to small businesses that are based in the UK. A small business for the purposes of these awards is a business that is founder owned (ie. sole trader, partnership or at least 51% owned limited company) with staffing of no more than 30 FTE (full time equivalent) across the year.  
    • Alternatively, anyone can enter on the founder’s behalf, as long as the business fulfils the above.  Our entry form will ask you at the start if you are applying for your business or someone you admire.  If your entry is on behalf of someone else and is  shortlisted as a Nominee, founders will be contacted to confirm they want to take part and will be asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions. 
    • Each small business will be judged on how well they meet the category criteria, there is no benefit to multiple entries so if you enter you don’t need to encourage someone else to enter on your behalf.  Due to GDPR regulations we are unable to share any details of  entries made on your behalf. 
    • Winners or Runners-Up from 2020 will not be eligible to enter.  Businesses who were Nominees and Finalists in previous years but did not win or receive a monetary award are welcome to enter.
    • In entering the competition, you confirm that you are eligible to do so by meeting the criteria and eligibility to claim any prize you may win. 
    • Entrants must comply with these Terms and Conditions to be eligible for prizes. If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these Terms and Conditions, HCO Ltd at their sole discretion, reserves the right to exclude the Entrant from participating in the competition.
    • All Entrants must complete the required entry form for each category they wish to enter. 
    • There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to take part.
    • All entrants will receive a message on screen as soon as your entry has been submitted along with a confirmation email within 24 hours. If this does not happen the entry form may not have been received and should be submitted again.
  • Awards Categories and Nominees (please see definition below).
    • The ‘Award Categories’ are: 
  1. Business For Good Award
  2. High Street Shop Award
  3. Modern Crafter Award
  4. Female Founder Award
  5. Small Business Of The Year Award
  • There are 2 special Awards
    • The People’s Choice Awards voted for by the public
    • Holly’s Fairy Godmother Award chosen by Holly Tucker
  • The Young Entrepreneur Award will no longer run this year due to insufficient entries
  • Entries must be submitted online using the entry form, which must be completed in full, including the Entrant’s full name, contact telephone number, and email address along with the category they wish to enter, HCO Ltd then identifies the ‘Nominees’ from the entries received.  HCO Ltd makes the decision on the Nominees and this decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into or comment issued on this decision.
  • Entrants can only enter into two award categories. If an Entrant has entered themselves and someone else has also entered on their behalf, the award category from the founder themselves will apply. Entrants will only be shortlisted into one category as a Nominee.
  • The Independent Awards 2021 timings are as follows:
    • Launch & entry stage opens: 7th October 2021
    • Closing date for entries: midday on 21st October 2021.  HCO Ltd reserves the right to close entries early with 48 hrs notice.
    • Nominees will be contacted by: 9th November 2021
    • Nominees are announced and public voting opens 10th November 2021
    • Public voting closes: 23rd November 2021
    • Finalists announced and public voting re-opens: 29th November  2021
    • Public voting closes for People’s Choice Award:  6th December 2021
    • Winners announced: 9th December 2021
  • Sharing of information, ownership of competition entries and intellectual property rights
    • The Entrant may have been asked to submit copy and images for their entry on the Awards Category pages at:  It is the responsibility of the Entrant to submit their own original work and agree and confirm that this will not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party.
    • HCO Ltd reserves the right to edit the copy provided to optimise it for the website. If this is done the sentiment of the copy will remain intact.
    • The Entrant will retain ownership of copyright of any images or copy provided, but give HCO Ltd irrevocable permission to use, reproduce, publish, transmit, copy, and amend the entry for the purposes of all HCO Ltd activity (including The Independent Awards and Campaign Shop Independent).
    • Entrants consent to being contacted by HCO Ltd in response to their entry and with communications about exclusive events and opportunities relating to The Independent Awards, using the telephone number or email address provided with the competition entry.
    • The Entrant agrees to the use of his/her name, social handles and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. 
    • Any personal data relating to the Entrant or the Voters will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
    • Entrants and Voters are providing their information to HCO Ltd and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at
    • Should you be a prize-winner, you agree that HCO Ltd may, but are not required to, publish an extract from your entry (such extract to be agreed between you and HCO Ltd) for the purposes of publicising and promoting the entry and the competition on HCO Ltd website and marketing materials.
    • The Entrant agrees that they will contribute to publicity and promotional activities throughout the year in the event that they are a prize-winner, including UGC footage, events and interviews to be published on HCO Ltd (and partners) marketing materials, and hereby grants HCO Ltd all necessary rights in their contribution for press/publicity activities for the competition for all media in perpetuity.
    • The Entrant  agrees to contribute to and/or participate in filmed content created by HCO Ltd discussing the awards  HCO Ltd have the sole right to deal with this content in any way that they think fit. The filming may be exhibited or exploited in all media formats now and thereafter created throughout the universe for the full period of copyright and in perpetuity.  
  • 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 at the discretion of Holly Tucker and can include mentoring from the Holly & Co team.
      • At the discretion of HCO Ltd. additional spotlight prizes can be awarded from the overall prize fund of £100,000.
    • After the announcement of the winners HCO Ltd will contact each winner to arrange payment. Payment of the prize money will be made by 31st December 2021.
    • The prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred or transferred.
    • An Entrant can only win one prize.
  • The Judges
    • The judging will be fair and independent. The judging panel will be appointed by HCO Ltd.  All Judges are required to declare any financial interests or conflict of interest at the point of judging. If any potential conflict is raised, HCO Ltd will address this as they see fit.  
    • Finalists from the Nominees will be determined based on the public vote and one set of Judges and a different set of Judges will determine the Winners from the Finalists. No Judge will appear in both sets.
    • The decision of the Judges in every instance shall be final and unchallengeable. No correspondence will be entered into or comment issued on any matters concerning a decision.
  • Voting Method
    • During the Voting Period residents of the UK, aged over 18, may submit votes online at 
    • At this URL Voters need to select the Award Category page. All Nominees will be listed on their Award Category page with a dedicated ‘Vote’ button. Nominees will also have available a direct URL to their entry on their respective Awards Category page that they are able to share.
    • To vote each Voter must click the Vote button, provide their email address and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Following this they must verify their email address via the link emailed to the email address they provide. If email verification is not undertaken the vote will NOT be counted. 
    • Each individual can vote ONLY ONCE per category.
    • The only Voting Method is online. No votes will be accepted through any other means.
    • For help with this Voting Method, please send an email to [email protected]
    • Information collected from you via Online Voting is subject to the HCO Ltd Privacy Policy (located at
  • Selection of Nominees
    • The Entrants for each Awards Category will be reduced to up to 20 Nominees per category. 
    • Nominees will be contacted by 9th November 2021, via email.
  • Selection of Winners
    • Awards Category Winners
      1. Finalists will be determined based on the public vote and our expert Judges. Category Winners will be chosen by the Judges.
    • The People’s Choice Winner 
      1. The Nominee with the most valid votes at 11.59pm on 6th December 2021 will be the potential winner of the People’s Choice Award, but only if this company has NOT been chosen to win its respective Award Category.
      2. If the Nominee with the most valid votes at 11.59pm on 6th December 2021 has been chosen to win its Award Category, the Entrant with the second highest public votes will be the potential Winner of the People’s Choice Award. If the Entrant with the second highest public votes has also been chosen to win their Award Category, the Entrant with the third highest public votes will be the potential winner of the People’s Choice Award, and so on.
      3. In the event of technical or reporting difficulties with the Voting Method, or in the event two or more Nominees receive the same number of votes such that a Winner cannot be determined, or for any other reason HCO Ltd deems appropriate, HCO Ltd reserves the right to make the final determination as to which of the Nominees will be declared the Winner of the People’s Choice Award
      4. The Winner will be announced on 9th December 2021 on Instagram @hollytucker, on  and via email to all the Nominees.
    • The Holly’s Fairy Godmother Award Winner or Winners
      1. This Award will be judged and chosen solely by Holly Tucker from all Entrants into The Independent Awards 2021 including all of the Nominees.
      2. Holly Tucker’s decision in this case is final and unchallengeable. No correspondence will be entered into or comment issued on any matters concerning a decision.
  • HCO Ltd reserves the right to have winners be determined by any method determined by HCO Ltd in its sole discretion, and HCO Ltd reserves the right to disqualify any Nominee, Finalist or potential Winner if, at any time before or during the The Independent Awards 2021, such Nominee, Finalist or potential Winner is subject to adverse publicity relating to such Nominee, Finalist or potential Winner’s involvement in any act which is illegal, or insults or offends community moral standards or public decency, in HCO Ltd’s sole discretion. 
  • Official Voting Rules
    • The following terms (the “Official Voting Rules“) govern voting in The Independent Awards 2021.  Please note that the Official Voting Rules are subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of HCO Ltd. 
    • The Voting Period opens on 10th November 2021  and closes on 6th December 2021.
    • Valid votes made between 10th November 2021 and on 23rd November 2021 will contribute to the decision on the Finalists for each category. 
    • All valid votes made between 10th November 2021 and 6th December 2021 will be counted towards the People’s Choice Award.
  • Conditions for Voting
    • By voting, you are agreeing to be bound by these Official Voting Rules, and not to use any unofficial, third party services to cast votes on your or any third party’s behalf.  HCO Ltd reserves the right to, but is not obligated, to disqualify, block or remove any votes from any individual who votes by any electronic, mechanical or automated means, or otherwise tampers with the vote process, or for any other reason, as determined by HCO Ltd in their sole discretion. Any Nominee who offers benefits, compensation, or otherwise tries to give an incentive to voters to manipulate the results of voting may be disqualified and any votes earned by such means may be made ‘Invalid’ and removed at HCO Ltd’s discretion.  Nominees can only canvas for votes through their existing channels and can not manipulate voting using paid media.  Any Nominee found to be doing so may be disqualified and any votes earned by such means may be made ‘Invalid’ and removed at HCO Ltd’s discretion.
    • HCO Ltd is not responsible for any damages to voters’ device(s) that may occur from voting.  HCO Ltd reserves the right, for any reason and in their sole discretion without any obligation, to modify, suspend or discontinue the voting without prior notice.  HCO Ltd reserves the right to modify the terms and conditions of this voting process at any time at their sole discretion. 
  • Voting Disclaimer
    • HCO Ltd and their respective direct or indirect partners, related and affiliated entities and persons, and each of their respective agents, officers, directors, employees,  managers, members, contractors, and their respective successors, licensees and assignees, and any other entity involved in the development, administration, promotion, or implementation of the Voting Method and these Official Voting Rules (collectively, the “Released Parties”) are not responsible for and shall not be liable for: difficulties, failures or malfunctions of computers, phones (including wireless phones/handsets) tablets and/or other devices, phone lines or telephone systems or other communications malfunctions; cellular equipment towers, telephone systems or wireless services; interrupted or unavailable networks, applications or servers; miscommunications, failed computer hardware or software or other technical failures; garbled, lost, misrouted or scrambled transmissions; any error, omission, interruption, defect or delay in any transmission, communication or report; traffic congestion or for any technical or other problem which may cause the voting to be disrupted or corrupted.
    • If for any reason the voting is not capable of being executed as planned, or if there is an infection by a computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud or technical or reporting failures, or if any other causes beyond the control of the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this voting, HCO Ltd  reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to take any action they deem appropriate or to withdraw the transmission of any vote, but are in no way obligated to do so. Furthermore, HCO Ltd may, but is not obligated to, permanently disqualify from any voting any person HCO Ltd believe has intentionally violated these Official Voting Rules, and terminate or suspend voting at any point and declare the vote results based on the votes up to that point, if it appears that the voting process has been so distorted by hacking, failures, errors or other interference that the results would not reflect actual valid votes should the voting continue.  In the event of technical or reporting difficulties with the Voting Method, including, but not limited to, mobile or Internet service interruptions, HCO Ltd, at their sole discretion, reserve the right to review the votes for accuracy and to take any action they deem appropriate, including, without limitation, make Invalid all votes cast during the time period in which such technical or reporting difficulties occurred, voiding the votes cast during the time period in which such technical or reporting difficulties occurred with such method, and/or removing such method of voting altogether and relying only on the other voting methods, but are in no way obligated to do so.  
    • HCO Ltd assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to participants or voters or to any person’s computer or other property relating to or resulting from entering or downloading materials, applications or software in connection with this vote, or otherwise participating in this voting. HCO Ltd is not responsible for telecommunications, network, electronic, technical or computer failures of any kind, for inaccurate transcription or reporting of voting information, errors in any promotional or marketing materials, for any human or electronic error, or for votes or reports that are stolen, misdirected, garbled, delayed by computer transmissions, lost, or late.  By participating, each individual agrees to release and hold HCO Ltd harmless against any and all claims and liabilities of any kind arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, out of such individual’s participation in the voting. 
    • These rules are subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of  HCO Ltd. Notification regarding any such change will be posted at
    • Caution: Any attempt by a voter or any other individual to deliberately damage any online service or website, tamper with the voting process, or otherwise undermine the legitimate operation of the voting is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, HCO Ltd reserves the right to seek damages and/or other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  • Questions/Contacts
    • Any questions regarding the Terms and Conditions or the Official Voting Rules should be directed to [email protected].