Categories

It is with a heavy heart and profound empathy for the difficulty and uncertainty small businesses throughout New Zealand are currently facing that we have decided not to hold The David Awards 2020.

We know that small businesses will be facing enormous challenges and that what the future holds will differ for each of you. For some, the painful reality is that nothing will save your current business. For others, Covid-19 presents opportunities which didn’t previously exist and you may be struggling to adapt and keep up. Many will fall between these two extremes, but wherever your business sits, we have no doubt you have far bigger things on your mind right now - and rightly so - than entering awards. 

What we also know, from more than a decade of small and home businesses sharing their challenges and successes with us, is that small businesses are agile, resilient, creative and very necessary to New Zealand. Every year entrants have demonstrated how, after immense adversity, they have picked themselves up and dusted themselves off, taken a long, hard look at their situation, the challenges and opportunities, adapted what they are doing and stepped up to the mark. Their nimbleness, determination and perseverance have been invaluable in equipping them for the fray. And they have come out the other side stronger, wiser and having found ways to conquer the obstacles or circumvent the roadblocks they encountered along the way.

Like you, many of the judges and organisers of The David Awards are fighting fires in their own businesses and employment situations. We understand not only the stress of steering a business through this time of change and upheaval, but the huge toll it takes at a personal level too.

We would, however, like to share an observation with you. The high number of business failures in the small and home business sector is often cited - and misinterpreted - as a sign of how fragile this sector is. We say to you it is actually a sign of its resilience, because if one bothers to dig a little deeper the picture which emerges is not one of a business failing, but often of a business morphing into something else. Something which is built of sterner stuff and based on a little more experience.

We know you need time to evaluate, plan, tackle the challenges and even heal. In recognition of the extraordinary times we are facing together at present, we are dedicating The David Awards 2020 to all small business owners throughout Aotearoa.

And we want you to know each and every one of you is a true “David” in our eyes.

You are not alone, we know you are resilient and there is light at the end of the tunnel, whether you can see it now or not.

We salute you.

Finally, we encourage you to draw on help which is available.

Overview of support for employers and the self-employed
Overview of other financial support
Overview of some mental health support and tools here and here
Official Covid-19 information

We expect to be back bigger and better than ever in 2021 and look forward to hearing some amazing stories of triumph and fortitude then. In the meantime, be kind to yourselves and each other.

Kia Kaha.

Heather and the Team at The David Awards.

To be notified when The David Awards 2021 opens for entries, please sign up to our newsletter.

There are eight categories and a Supreme Award.

Each entrant may enter up to three separate categories (all on the same form). 

The winners of each category all become nominees for the Supreme Award.

Judges may move entrants from one category to another category at their discretion if they believe the entrant fits the criteria for the new category better.

Categories are:  

Most outstanding fledgling business

A young or start-up business which has been trading for under two years. The owner will be passionate about their business, and the business itself will be smart, quirky, or just very professionally set up.

Most outstanding established business 

A business which has moved beyond the start-up phase and is two or more years old, which has a proven track record and some or all of the plans/people/systems/processes in place to make a long-term or well-above-average future a reality. This Award seeks to recognise a business planning for and/or coping with the changes required to take a business through expansion and significant growth, or which has achieved a level of security and maturity. This business will be able to demonstrate proven financial success.

Most outstanding triumph over adversity 

A business which has succeeded in spite of challenges beyond the usual. This may be due to due to personal issues the owner has had to deal with, circumstances beyond their control, or unexpected setbacks.

Most innovative business

This is a business which demonstrates a new or clever way of going about things, or which is conceptually innovative, or a business which develops and harnesses technology to help it punch above its weight. A new product or service developed by the business owner may be the prime focus of an entry in this category, or something like enhanced mobility or efficiency gained through bespoke software development or the entry may revolve around a new or different use for existing technology. This category also suits and entry which demonstrates the inspired use of readily-available technology at a level above and beyond what most other businesses in their field are doing. 

Most inspired use of marketing

A business which punches above its weight in terms of getting the word out, achieving profile and attracting business. Typically, this Award recognises a business which knows how to find potential customers using a variety of media effectively and which understands how to communicate with members of its target audience and get them to take the next step towards a purchase.

Solo Meo Award 

This Award celebrates a solo business owner who runs their business single-handedly. It recognises all-round business excellence, from concept through to execution. Entrants in this category must be sole owners of their business, and cannot employ anyone else in a dedicated, ongoing capacity for over 10 hours a week (e.g. virtual assistant, sales rep) but can employ others to undertake specific tasks for the business from time to time (e.g. an accountant, web designer, copywriter or product demonstrators). Distributor-type relationships are excluded provided they work from independent premises.

Most community-minded business

A business which gives back to its community, e.g. local, regional or industry sector, in ways which benefit the community significantly. This Award is intended to highlight a business where the community involvement is not what the business is about, but part of how it goes about doing whatever its core business is. Businesses whose main objective is to benefit the community should consider entering other categories, and if they enter this one, will need to clarify what part of what they do is not their core business in order to meet the criteria for this Award.

The People's Choice Award

This category is based on votes. All entries in this category submit a publicly-available profile. Businesses entering this Award will be provided with banners and links, and encouraged to persuade customers, staff, colleagues, family, friends and others to vote for them. This category is intended to be a bit of fun, and to provide a way for businesses to draw attention to themselves, their brand and their product, and to leverage their networks. The sooner you get your entry in, the sooner you can have the public voting for your business.