The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the UK’s flagship celebration of ex-military personnel who are now excelling in business, and the employers who support current and former members of the British Armed Forces.
Those who have served Queen and country in uniform have spent years adapting to various roles and gaining new skills. They have developed qualities that are readily transferable and in demand in the business world.
But transitioning back to civilian life can be a challenging period for many of the thousands of military leavers each year, marked by feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Often, this can also impact upon friends and family.
The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards uncovers and promotes the achievements of business leaders across numerous industries who previously served in the forces, highlighting the adaptable skills the military gave them and recognising the organisations that helped them find their new place in society.
Nominations for the 2018 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards open on 16 October 2017 and close on 15 December 2017. You can receive updates on the nominations process by signing up for our newsletter.
The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on 17 May 2018.
Nominations are now open for the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2018. Click here to nominate.
Head of Power Delivery, Transport for London
CEO, The Training Room
Ben Farrell MBE
Head of Central Operations and Transport, John Lewis
Facilities Director, Hearst Magazines UK
EMEA Managing Director, Amazon Web Services
Defence and Intelligence Director, Cisco
Head of Regulatory & Market Structure Propositions, Thomson Reuters
Managing Director, Leonardo Helicopters UK
Head of Fleet Services, Royal Mail
Managing Director, Arrows Group
Executive Director, JP Morgan
CEO, KCS Group Europe
Director, Sage Foundation, and CEO, Invictus Games 2016
ON THE DAY
Dress code: black tie and ball gowns or mess dress
19.00 Champagne reception
20.00 Welcome and keynote address
22.00 Presentation of the awards
22.40 Live comedy
23.00 Networking and live music
16 October 2017: Nominations open
15 December 2017: Nominations close
15 January 2018: Nominees told whether they have been shortlisted
16 April 2018: Final shortlist publicly announced
26 April 2018: Judging Day
17 May 2018: British Ex-Forces in Business Awards
The winners are decided by the judges based on the information provided in the written submissions. The submissions that explain why the nominee should win in the most detail, within the word limit of 1,000 words, will stand the best chance. They should detail individual achievements and contributions to success, and where possible include quantitative information, such as revenues, profits, margins, cost savings, efficiency gains, productivity gains, returns on investment, customer wins or anything else that demonstrates that individual’s contributions to a business. Testimonials from colleagues, partners or customers can also enhance a nomination. Please note, any information marked as confidential will remain as such. The judges will refer to the criteria of each award (listed below) when judging it, so nominations should adhere to this closely. Submissions that are less than 550 words in length will not be considered. There is no cost to nominate.
Advocate of the Year
An organisation or individual that has demonstrated a great desire to support service leavers through their resettlement and into a new career in the last 18 months, and acted as a strong advocate for what ex-forces personnel can bring to business. The judges will examine the candidates’ specific efforts in this area, as well as ex-forces initiatives they have led and the overall impact of these efforts/initiatives.
Business Leader of the Year
A leader of an organisation, or a leader of a large department within an organisation, who has demonstrated outstanding business leadership in the last 18 months. To assess this category, the judges will look at the progress and growth of the organisation, or the relevant department within it, and how the candidate has contributed to that success, both through their leadership and through their own individual achievements.
Employer of the Year
An organisation that has demonstrated a great desire to attract, retain and support ex-forces personnel. Judges will look at the employer’s overall commitment to the ex-forces community in the last 18 months, including its efforts to recruit them, support them in their resettlement and help them grow through the organisation, as well as examples of recognising and promoting the skills of military service leavers and supporting reservists.
Entrepreneur of the Year
This category is for service leavers who have taken the bold step of starting their own business. The judges will assess the growth of the company since it was launched by the candidate, as well as results in the last 18 months. They will examine the candidate’s leadership and strategy, standout achievements and customer testimonials, as well as the actual performance of the company (turnover, profit, employees etc.).
Ex-Forces Programme of the Year
This category looks at specific ex-forces programmes within organisations to provide career and training opportunities to service leavers and help them in their transition. Judges will assess the results and scale of the programme in the last 18 months, its integration with the business, its influence in recognising the skills of service leavers and applying them to parts of the organisation, and how well it ultimately helps to bridge the gap between the forces and the business world.
Innovator of the Year
A business or technology leader who has demonstrated outstanding innovation that has contributed to an organisation’s success or helped to disrupt a business or industry. This could be innovation on an operational or project level within an organisation or something that has impacted other people or organisations in the form of a new product or idea. Judges will examine how innovative the leader has been by looking at individual achievements and how they’ve changed the way something is consumed or done.
Inspiration of the Year
A service leader who has overcome adversity – during their military service, during their transition to civilian life or since he or she started a new career – to ultimately achieve success in the business world and act as an inspiration to others.
This category looks at the achievements of the candidates throughout their whole career, both in the military and their business achievements after leaving the military. The judges will look at each candidate’s contributions to defending British freedom during their time in the forces, as well as what they have contributed to the British economy through their business achievements since leaving the forces.
New Service Leaver of the Year
This category recognises ex-forces personal who left the military less than two years ago and, through an effective transition, is already achieving great things in business. The judges will examine standout achievements since the candidates left the forces, including demonstrations of leadership or innovation, contributions to successful projects, and examples or testimonials that highlight the business potential and promise they have shown.
Outstanding Achiever of the Year
This category recognises an outstanding business achievement (or achievements) in the last 18 months from somebody who used to serve in the forces. This could be somebody who has demonstrated outstanding commercial results, transformed an organisation or culture, significantly improved the way an organisation is run, achieved something outstanding for the ex-forces community, or inspired others to achieve.
Recruitment Firm of the Year
This category recognises recruitment companies that focus specifically on placing military service leavers in businesses. The judges will examine their commitment to helping service leavers find employment and how well they support them, both through their job searches and their overall transitions to civilian life. Judges will also assess how well the recruiters champion the skills of ex-forces personnel, as well as how many service leavers they’ve secured employment for in the last 18 months.
Reservist of the Year
This category recognises the importance of British reservists by recognising those who have demonstrated excellent achievements in their career while also dedicating themselves to the training commitments required of the Reserve Forces. Judges will assess each candidate’s business achievements in the last 18 months – including demonstrations of leadership or innovation, contributions to successful projects, and examples or testimonials that highlight their capabilities – as well as how they have acted as a strong ambassador for the British Armed Forces.
Rising Star of the Year
A former serviceman or woman who began a post-military career in the last six years and has progressed quickly through an organisation or industry, demonstrating strong business results and leadership. The judges will examine each candidate’s accomplishments and progression since leaving the forces, with a particular emphasis on achievements in the last 18 months.
Role Model of the Year
A former serviceman or woman who has not only transitioned successfully to the business world but has been a strong and effective role model to other service leavers in the last 18 months. The judges will examine each candidate’s commitment to supporting other service leavers through specific examples of how they’ve acted as a role model, as well as demonstrations of their own leadership and business success.
Service Leaver of the Year
This category looks at ex-forces personnel at all stages of their career to pinpoint an overall service leaver of the year. The judges will examine achievements in the last 18 months of each candidate’s career, looking at demonstrations of business excellence and leadership, examples of being a role model to others, as well as efforts to support or represent the ex-forces community as a whole, either as an ambassador or by actively trying to bridge the gap between the armed forces and the business world.
Skills Initiative of the Year
This award category is open to employers that run an initiative dedicated to providing service leavers with the skills to progress and excel in their organisation, or to retrain for a different role within the organisation. The judges will examine the employer’s commitment to upskilling service leavers, as well as the overall impact and results of the initiative.
Team Leader of the Year
A team leader within an organisation who has demonstrated outstanding team leadership in the last 18 months. To assess this category, the judges will look at the progress and growth of the organisation, or the relevant team within it, and how the candidate has contributed to that success, both through their team leadership and through their own individual achievements.
Training Provider of the Year
A training or academic course provider dedicated to preparing service leavers for their desired career path and supporting them in that transition. Judges will look at how well each provider markets their services to ex-forces personnel, how well they tailor their training and courses to the specific requirements of service leavers, testimonials from service leavers, and how many service leavers they have supported in the last 18 months.
Woman of the Year
With women often less recognised than their male counterparts both in business and the armed forces, this category recognises former servicewomen who not only contributed greatly to British defence during their military service but have also demonstrated outstanding business achievements since transitioning to civilian life. The judges will examine examples of each candidate’s success in the business world in the last 18 months, as well as how they have been a role model to others.
Young Leader of the Year
A leader of an organisation, or a leader of a large department within an organisation, under the age of 40, who has progressed rapidly into a senior management role and demonstrated outstanding business leadership in the last 18 months. To assess this category, the judges will look at the progress and growth of the organisation, or the relevant department within it, and how the candidate has contributed to that success, both through their leadership and through their own individual achievements.