Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the RBAs for?
The RBA categories are aligned to broadly fit into three categories Land Based businesses, Land Related Businesses and Other Businesses located in rural areas. The RBAs are not limited to Land owners or those working on the land. Widely, the RBAs will accept
entries from businesses who clearly demonstrate that they are either;
a) Rurally based (using the government classification that defines areas as rural if they are
outside settlements with more than 10,000 resident population)
b) Are businesses that mainly serve a rural population
When is the 2019/20 entry deadline?

Entries for the 2019/20 Rural Business Awards will close on Friday 7th June 2019.

How much does it cost to enter the Rural Business Awards?

It is completely free to enter the Rural Business Awards for 2019/20! The only costs related to the awards programme are the price of your tickets to the ceremonies. These cost £100 each plus VAT.

We also recognise that paying for tickets to the awards ceremonies might not be a top priority for charities, social enterprises or community projects looking at this category. Please get in touch with the RBA office (office@ruralbusinessawards.co.uk) and we can see how we can help.

Can I enter more than one category?

Yes! You can enter as many categories as you think are relevant to your business.

There is even a handy ‘Copy’ button on our awards platform which you can use to copy the first entry – meaning that you don’t have to fill in all the essential business information again. However, we would always recommend tailoring the answers in your entry so that they demonstrate the criteria for that specific category.

Can I enter more than one region?

We know that some businesses operate across wide geographical areas, and that this may mean that they cross over two or more of our RBA regions. In these circumstances, as long as the business already has a presence (e.g. office, customers, sites) in all the regions that they wish to enter, then a business can enter more than one region in The Rural Business Awards.

Our handy ‘Copy’ button also reduces the need to enter all the information about a business again. Simply select ‘Copy’, change the region to the correct one and check that all the answers are still relevant to the new region.

How long does it take to complete an entry?

It varies! But we mostly find that it takes entrants around 10 minutes to start their Rural Business Awards entry and fill out the initial contact information. The more detailed answers about your business (and the part that gets judged), can take between 20 minutes and an hour – depending on how well organised you are!

And you don’t have to sit and complete your entry all in one go. Our awards platform allows an entry to be saved and then returned to as many times as needed. Just remember to make sure that the entry is finished before Friday 7th June 2019.

Do I have to complete my entry all in one go?

Certainly not! Using our online entry platform, you can save your entry and return to it at any point before the deadline of 7th June 2019. You can do this as many times as you need to – plenty of our past entrants have worked on their entry in 10/15 minute chunks over a couple of weeks before submitting.

You can also continue to edit your entry even after submitting it, as long as it is before the relevant deadlines.

Can I add extra/supporting information to my Rural Business Awards entry?

Yes! At the end of your entry, there is a tab to upload any additional supporting information. These may be:

  • Presentation
  • Photographs
  • Video
  • Customer testimonials
  • Financial overview (it doesn’t need to be detailed)
  • YouTube links

While this stage of the entry is optional, we do strongly recommend that supporting information is included. Our most successful entrants last year were the businesses who included additional information! This helped the judges get a deeper insight into their business and allowed them to score more highly.

Can I send in a product for the judges to try?

Yes, you can send physical samples, products, or other supporting evidence to us. and we will ensure that the judges consider them as part of your entry.

Email us at office@ruralbusinessawards.co.uk to let us know what you want to send, then post your product to our address: Rural Business Awards, Unit 2b, Suite 4b, East Bridgford Business Park, Kneeton Road, East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, NG13 8PJ

We ask that any food items have a reasonably long shelf life, and that you don’t send any food products that need to be cooked before the judges sample them.

I'm a charity, social enterprise or community project - can I enter The Rural Business Awards?

Yes! We have a category in each region just for you – our Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project of the Year category. We want to hear and share the amazing stories of charities, social enterprises and projects that are impacting on, or working with rural communities to make a difference.

We also recognise that paying for tickets to the awards ceremonies might not be a top priority for charities, social enterprises or community projects looking at this category. Please get in touch with the RBA office (office@ruralbusinessawards.co.uk) and we can see how we can help.

How will my entry be 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 three rounds of judging. The judging process is basically the same for both the Shortlisting and Regional 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 ceremonies.

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 business, the rural way of life, 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.

I've just entered, when will I find out the results?

After entries close on 7th June 2019, our panel of judges will remotely score each entry, and the best 6 in each category, will make the shortlist. This process is the same for each of the regions. 

The regional shortlists will be announced between 1st and 19th July. Entrants who have made the shortlist will be given the chance to edit and add to their entries.

Before the regional finals, the judges will come together to discuss and score each entry again, this time paying much closer attention to the entries. They will also be able to try any product samples or view additional supporting evidence that the finalists have sent in.

The results of these judging days will be announced at the regional awards ceremonies in October, and will also be posted on our website. In each category, we announce a winner and a runner up.

The winners of each category in each region will go forward to the National Rural Business Awards. The process is essentially the same. The businesses will be given a final round of scores, and the awards ceremony will take place on 27th February 2020.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the RBA Office, either by calling  us on 01163 800525 or emailing us at office@ruralbusinessawards.co.uk

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