What makes a winning awards entry?

The Business Leader Awards 2018 will once again take place at Ashton Gate in Bristol on 27th September 2018.

With over 700 business leaders expected, the Awards are now recognised as the region’s most prestigious business event.

Previous Business Leader Awards winners have gone on to win new customers and achieve significant brand recognition.

Entries for this year’s awards close on June 1st, and to help you out with your application, this year’s judges will be explaining what they are looking for from entries.

Here, Jeremy Coombes of Castle Finance and Key Solutions Mortgages’ Anna Pepler give advice to what they’re looking for while judging this year’s awards.

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Jeremy Coombes – managing director of Castle Finance

I was lucky enough to be asked last year, and the entire process from initial buzz of the media build-up, through to getting to know and understand the values of proposed candidates in my chosen category, to presenting at the final awards ceremony, is such a great event to be involved in for local businesses.

Castle Business Finance is a new and smaller independent Commercial Finance House but with material experience (I own the company and have been in the industry for over 30 years), and our focus is on good quality client care and genuine flexibility, with sound commercial “human” decision making, without the red tape.

I began my career in the late 80s in high street banks, then went on to have senior management roles and directorships in GE and Bibby, and latterly was a founder and CEO of AIM listed Ultimate Finance Group Plc, one of the largest independents in the country, which I ran for 13 years before it was sold in 2015 for £48 million. Castle is the bringing together of all the best elements of my former businesses.

I am always inspired by “brave” or “adventurous” businesses that break the mould in some way or have approached their field in a new, innovative or vibrant way! Seeing evidence of individuals or teams that have gone that extra mile helps to win my vote.

Anna Pepler – managing director of Key Solutions Mortgages

It’s great to learn and understand about businesses and individuals in the local area, what they are doing, their innovations, growth, future plans and what makes business so strong in the South West.

When not judging award entries I am the managing director of Key Solutions Mortgages Ltd and also sit on the Board of a local Charity; Young Enterprise West of England. Key Solutions are a whole of market mortgage and protection broker based in Weston-super-Mare.

I joined Key Solutions in October 2017 from The HR Dept Bristol where I worked for eight and a half years in the role of managing director for the last two of these.

A great entry tells me a story! It shows the journey of the business or individual, it answers the questions clearly and provides evidence showing the real day to day life of the business and how it operates.

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