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How does judging work

We have complied a list of frequently answered questions which outlines how the system works below.

  • How does the system work?
    The South West Business & Community Awards attract nominations from across the region. We get nominees from Gloucester right down to Cornwall and from a variety of industries, sectors and company sizes.

    We promote the awards via our regional database of 40,000 businesses, our south-west business show’s and through our regional partners and sponsors.

    The process of entering the awards is as follows:

    1. Look at what categories’ best suits either yourself or the nominee you want to nominate
    2. Complete the nomination form to the best of your ability and make sure you provide correct contact details for the nominee. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the details that are required as we will request and give an opportunity for the nominee to supply additional supporting information at a later stage.
    3. Once the nomination form is completed, we will send the nominee a confirmation email advising that they have been nominated.
    4. The nominee will then receive a digital badge/logo stating that they have been nominated in the relevant category for them to promote and advertise. 
    5. The nominated is then put forward for the shortlisting process.
    6. If the nominee is shortlisted, we will contact them and advise accordingly. We also send them a shortlisted nominee badge/icon and details of the awards ceremony.
    7. We announce all shortlisted nominees publicly on the website and via our press releases.
    8. We will give all shortlisted nominees an opportunity to submit additional supporting information for final judging.
    9. Judges meet for the final decision on winners. We would encourage all shortlisted nominees to attend the awards ceremony as the winners will be announced on the night.
    10. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony and presented with certificates and award. All shortlisted nominees that attend the awards ceremony will also be presented with a certificate and have an opportunity for a photo. 
  • How do I nominate someone?
    The nomination process is simple, go onto the award category page of the website and look through to see what category or categories are most relevant and applicable to yourself or nominee.
    Once you have chosen your category/categories, please click on nominate now button which will take you to our nomination form.

    Once you are at the stage of completing the form, you can select multiple categories that you feel are appropriate for your nomination. Please be advised that if you do choose multiple categories, you must include relevant details for each category within the subject boxes provided.

    Once you have completed all the nomination form, press submit nomination then your nominated is entered. We will send a confirmation email to the nominee advising that they have been entered into this year's awards.
  • How do I become a sponsor?

    Becoming a sponsor is simple and very rewarding.

    We have different sponsorship packages such as:

    • Main Award Sponsorship which includes a judging position
    • Category Sponsorship which includes 5 tickets and an opportunity to present the category award.
    • Prize sponsorship, we have various auction and raffle prizes that we use on the night of the awards to raise money for the selected charities / non – profit groups.

    If you are looking at category sponsorship, firstly, you need to look through the categories and see which one you would like to sponsor and then contact us to see if it is still available.

    You can call us on 0843 289 4634 or email

    All the money raised from the awards is donated to charity / non-profit groups. Your sponsorship makes a huge difference and enables us to get back to the neediest in our society.

  • Can I nominate someone outside the South West area

    You can nominate anyone that does business, charity or community work within the area. For example, that nominee may have a business that operates within the area, but they live outside of the region. Or it is maybe a national charity; however, they have a presence/operation within the region.

    For every nominee, you need to be able to demonstrate the impact they have or are making to the region. Any nominees that are not based in the South West or are not associated with the region will be disqualified.

Our Judges and Hosts

    Paul Waite
    Paul Waite is one of the main sponsors and is the essence of a true entrepreneur. It took Paul 20 years to become the entrepreneurial success he is today. He is known for his commitment to doing business correctly, which is unrivalled. Through his positive attitude, unwavering dedication to excellence and attention to the most exceptional detail, Paul only has happy, successful clients.

    Paul is the MD of south-west based accountancy firm Aspen Waite. Through his leadership and entrepreneurial vision, Aspen Waite has tripled its growth in recent years, making them one of the UK’s leading accountancy firms.

    Paul brings a vast amount of experience, wisdom and corporate insight to the judging panel.
    Mary Flavelle (Berkshire Radio Presenter)
    Mary Flavelle is renowned for helping SME’s of all shapes and sizes. She is incredibly passionate about helping women in Business and which why she launched the UK’s biggest female national network with over 11,000 members. Mary Flavelle is commonly known throughout the UK as the ‘Queen of Networks’. It is often said that who Mary doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing! The following are just some of the roles she has held: UK Ambassador for Women, Judge for Lloyds Bank, Area Lead for FSB and Area Lead for Chamber of Commerce.

    Throughout her lengthy career, Mary has had various radio and TV appearances. Mary is regularly
    featured in on BBC Breakfast, Channel 4, BBC Radio Berkshire and Marlow FM.
    Tina Fincham
    Head Judge
    Tina has over 20yrs of experience working with SMEs across the UK. Within her career she has been an legal advocate for businesses, provided counselling for entrepreneurs and a serial philanthropist.

    Working predominantly within the banking and finance sector Tina brings a wealth of experience to the judging panel. After many years of working for Natwest Bank, Direct Line and now for Aspen Waite Tina knows the
    struggles and triumphs that all the nominees would have experience on their entrepreneurial journey.

    Now as the PA to our main sponsor’s CEO Paul Waite of Aspen Waite, Tina is this year’s head judge.
  • Nyasha
    Nyasha Gwatidzo
    When Nyasha was made redundant she used the opportunity to create her own business. As a black African female entrepreneur Nyasha experienced many obstacles from racism, sexism, and restrictions to finance institutions in the UK when launching her business. However undeterred Nyasha focused on her passion and reminded herself of her BIG WHY which was to make a difference in children’s lives! Through her tenacity and determination Nyasha disrupted and changed her industry leading to her company now being one of the UK’s largest agencies creating over £180 Million worth of Revenue and has changed over 12,000 Children’s lives!

    Nyasha is a social entrepreneur who is respected around the world as a leading pioneer in social enterprise. Today Nyasha has over 7 social enterprises across 3 different continents and is raising a £1 Billion Global Fund for female entrepreneurs.

    Nyasha will be using her unique experience and vast knowledge of entrepreneurship when she judges this year's nominations.
  • Jacynth
    Jacynth Ivey
    Jacynth is the Founder & CEO of Jacynth Ivey Global and Inspiring Hope. She is a Multi-Award-Winning Transformational Leader, Coach, Author, Mentor and sought-after Inspirational Speaker. As Founder of Inspiring Hope, Jacynth works with Businesses, Public Services and Corporate Companies to create Peak Performance Environments & Sustainable Work Life Balance Initiatives. As Chair and Non-Executive Director of a few charitable organisations, Jacynth strives to ensure a thriving community for all.

    A former Public Service Executive Director, Jacynth has been invited to speak to large international audiences and has delivered highly engaging and insightful keynotes to various organisations. She is the author of the long-awaited book - “Its ok to be different: reignite your passion, fulfil your dreams” which provides the reader with seven life changing habits to confidently step forward into successful living.

    Jacynth has over 30+ years of experience as a senior leader within government, commercial, third sector organisations and SME’s. She previously worked in the National Health System of the UK in senior nursing, midwifery, as a health visitor, lecturer, speaker and advocate. Over the many years she has supported, national bodies, large corporate organisations, charities, entrepreneurs and senior leaders. Her accredited programmes address leadership, successful living and inclusion
  • Paul Day1
    Paul Day
    Paul Day has been working with corporates for the past 27yrs across the UK. His career has led him to works with some of the world’s biggest brands and famous recognisable household names. Paul is a Certified EU GDPR Practitioner and is passionate about good customer support. Paul brings a wealth of corporate experience to the judging panel.

    Lynsey’s enterprising experience is insightful and brings a dynamic approach to the judging panel.

  • Anita
    Anita Jaynes
    Anita Jaynes is a highly respected media entrepreneur within the South West.

    At only 31, Anita has a wealth of experience under her belt. Her passion for media started at the tender age of 15 when she joined Bath Hospital Radio as a volunteer presenter for Royal United Hospital and Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. Her passion for radio grew and developed, and she flourished there for 10 years, during her GCSEs, A levels and University.

    After her studies, Anita worked at BBC Radio Wiltshire and BBC Bristol, which lead to paid contract work across both TV and Radio. Anita learnt the crafts of the trade inside out by working in multiple roles within various companies within the South West, from freelancing as a reporter to working in sales.

    Anita launched her own media group which now produces the region’s leading business publications for Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath, Bristol and Somerset. Through her entrepreneurial passion, The Business Exchange group continues to thrive and is expanding its readership on a monthly basis.

    Anita brings unique insight to the judging panel, which is both entrepreneurial and media (PR) focused.
  • Sandra 1 v2
    Sandra Berns (CEO of Centric HR)
    Sandra has both Operational and Strategic HR expertise across Public and Private sectors and has assisted senior teams in meeting challenging workforce objectives in many corporate environments.
    Having worked with thousands of SMEs and some of the world’s biggest brands Sandra brings a huge amount of experience and knowledge to the judging panel.
    Having experience in a corporate background, Sandra has had exposure to a wide variety of employment issues from attraction and retention to exit strategies and dealing with contentious and complicated cases.
  • Greg
    Greg Robinson (Editor of SME Today)
    Greg Robinson is the editor of SME Today which is a national digital publication for UK SMEs. Greg has over 30 yrs running multiple businesses and vast experience working within digital media!

    SME Today is read by over 90,000 subscribers every month and the website can attract 50,000+ unique visitors each month (100,000+ website page views monthly). SME Today provides its readers with the latest news, high profile interviews, industry insights and sound business advice.
  • Christina
    Christina Briggs (CEO, New World Insight,)
    Christian is a specialist that uses strategic interventions with her international client base. Previously with Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce as Director of External Affairs, she campaigned for Crossrail, Heathrow expansion, and Investment in digital infrastructure. She also founded several respected initiatives for her brand name, international client base. The forums include: Windsor Debates, Business Alliance, The International Energy Forum. Her spectrum of knowledge is both wide and deep and primarily focuses on the sharing of knowledge in areas of artificial intelligence, technology, inward investment, global expansion, leveraging talent, online digital marketing and knowledge transfer covering a cross section of industries and markets. goals.
  • Jackie
    Jackie Chappell (1st Woman CEO of British Rail)
    When Jackie Chappell went to her first board meeting within British Rail they thought that she was the minute taker; they were wrong she was the NEW CEO! Jackie Chappell brings a huge amount of
    corporate experience to this years judging panel as she has smashed the ceiling of one if Britain's hardest industries. Jackie has worked with UK Prime Ministers, Cabinet Members and Union Bosses.
    Jackie has gone to a build a mega business empire within the south which now is also a market leader within her industry.