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Enter the RBAs

Entries will open in March 2022.

Entries for our next award season will open in March 2022. We will list all the awards categories and entry guidlines here.

If you would like to register your interest in the awards, please complete the form below. We will email you when entries open.

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Why Should You Enter?

There are so many reasons to enter the Rural Business Awards, one of the biggest celebrations of rural business in the UK! 

Entering the Rural Business Awards can have a real impact on your business. Most importantly, if you are so lucky as win an award, you will receive regional and national recognition, strengthening the reputation of your business.

Being a part of the RBAs enables you to access media and press opportunities, which will lead to new customers and better brand awareness. As a direct result of entering the RBAs, past finalists have given radio and TV interviews, and been featured in regional and national papers.

Additionally, the RBAs are an opportunity to network with other rural businesses and our sponsors, giving you the chance to share rural-specific challenges and best practices.

Taking part in the Rural Business Awards is a chance to celebrate everything you have achieved so far, and to build the tools for even greater success!

“Since announcing we were finalists for the 2018 awards, we have secured a range of new business and a lot of media coverage. Entering the awards has raised our profile and with it our bank balance too. I would encourage any other rural business to get involved in the Rural Business Awards, because you just never know what might happen!”

Sue Harbottle-Sear, Konzepts

A double finalist in the 2018/19 South East Awards.

Who Can Enter the RBAs?

To be eligible for a Rural Business Award, you must either be based in a rural location, serve a primarily rural client base, or embrace a rural theme.

We define a rural location as anywhere with a population of less than 10,000 people.

We welcome entries from businesses of all shapes, sizes and ages. Our judging process works so that businesses are judged on their own merits, and a business of just one or two people is just as likely to win as one with lots of employees. It all comes down to what you include in your entry.

If your business hasn’t been operating for very long, we also have the Best Rural Start Up category, which only accepts entries from businesses who began trading within the last three years. 

If you would like to see some of the businesses who have won in previous years, take a look at our Hall of Fame.

“I am incredibly grateful to Anna and Jemma for all their support through their wonderful Rural Business Awards scheme. They give so many small rural voices the chance to unite as a countryside choir!”

Katrina Rowton-Lee, The Courtyard at Wainhill

2018/19's Best Rural Start Up in the South East

The RBA Regions

Click on the details below to check which region you should enter

North
  • Cheshire
  • Cumbria
  • Durham
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Isle of Man
  • Lancashire
  • Merseyside
  • Northumberland
  • North Yorkshire
  • Tyne & Wear
  • West Yorkshire
  • Scotland & Islands
  • South Yorkshire
Midlands
  • Derbyshire

  • Herefordshire

  • Leicestershire

  • Lincolnshire

  • Northamptonshire

  • Nottinghamshire 

  • Rutland

  • Shropshire

  • Staffordshire

  • Warwickshire

  • West Midlands

  • Worcestershire

East
  • Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • East Sussex
  • Essex
  • Greater London
  • Hampshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kent
  • Norfolk
  • Oxfordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Surrey
  • West Sussex
Wales & NI
  • Wales

  • Northern Ireland

South West
  • Cornwall

  • Devon

  • Dorset

  • Gloucestershire

  • Somerset

  • The Channel Islands

  • Wiltshire

How are the Entries Judged?

Here at the RBAs we have a lengthy and detailed judging process. Entrants are awarded points in 17 different categories, by at least 5 different judges. Then we take an average to determine the final score. There are a total of 20 marks available for each category.

There are two rounds of judging. The judging process is basically the same for both the Shortlisting and National Final rounds. First the Judges consider all the entries, and score them. From those scores we announce the entries with the highest average scores in each category as finalists. Then a different set of judges will score the finalists, looking a little deeper and more critically into their entries. The results of this round of judging are kept even from the judges themselves until the Awards ceremony.

Entries to the Rural Business Awards are judged by a panel of external judges, which means that the RBA team are free to help you as much as you need, as we have no impact on the final scores. The judges are always industry leaders, experts either in the business world, the rural sector, or both! Each year we draw a pool of judges from our supporters and sponsors, and a few past winners. In previous years, the judges have included representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Family Business, Harper Adams University, and the CLA, to name a few!

This all means that the RBAs aren’t a popularity contest, or only looking for the biggest bottom line. Our judging process looks at businesses holistically. It considers an entrant’s history, ethics, rural credentials, branding, customer service, and individuality. We choose judges whose opinions we respect, and hope you do too. We want our entrants to feel that a Rural Business Award really means something, and that our winners are proud of their achievement.

Still have questions? Read one of our blogs, full of helpful entry tips:

Adding Additional Information

Adding Additional Information

In this blog post we look at the additional information that you can add to support your RBA entry. This is an optional part of the RBA entry process, but if you do choose to upload some, it could be the key to winning an award… In fact, we strongly recommend all...

How to Write a Successful Entry!

How to Write a Successful Entry!

So, you’ve decided to enter the Rural Business Awards this year (excellent choice by the way), you’ve registered on our online entry platform, and started filling in your entry. Great start!  But now you’re thinking about how to make it the best entry possible, or...

Our Top Entry Tips!

Our Top Entry Tips!

With the 2020 Rural Business Awards entry deadline fast approaching on Friday 16th October, we've compiled our top tips to help you write an award winning entry! You can also watch our 'Top Entry Tips 2020' video over on YouTube here. No. 1: Don’t forget the basics. ...

Or, get in touch with the RBA office. Type your question below:

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