TWO sponsors for this year’s Winchester Business Excellence Awards have launched the criteria for two of the nine categories.

Winchester City Council, sponsors of the Carbon Smart Award, is looking for a winner who has demonstrated awareness of the environmental impact of their business and has plans in place to reduce this in the future.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the progress made in reducing the carbon footprint and not just current levels of emissions.

Judges will look to make sure the business has been registered with the Carbon Smart Winchester accreditation scheme and an assessment of the carbon footprint by the business is linked to an action plan to reduce emissions. They will also look for signs of clear leadership within the organisation combined with a commitment to improve environmental practices and evidence of the green-enablement of the workforce.

Deputy Leader Rob Humby, of Winchester City Council, said: “This award will go to a business that is making real progress to reduce their carbon emissions. They must also be able to demonstrate that they use sound environmental management to support their business.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by the University of Winchester, will be presented to whomever who has ideas and the passion needed to create flourishing businesses which benefit entire communities.

Judges will look for evidence of clear vision backed up by strong ambition, determination to succeed and resilience to set-backs, dynamic and inspirational leadership and acceptance of risk and an inexhaustible supply of energy. Creativity, originality and innovation will also be sought, as well as the ability to identify an opportunity or a need and respond with an imaginative solution-driven approach.

Entry to this category is open to all organisations with less than 200 employees and an operating address in the local authority district of Winchester.

University of Winchester business development manager, Trish Kernon, said: “The University is delighted to continue its sponsorship of the Entrepreneur of the Year award as just one of the ways in which we seek to support and celebrate local enterprise. We actively promote entrepreneurship and business creation as a career option for graduates, providing mentoring and start-up funding to make it easier for them to remain in the area and contribute to its culture and economy.

“We also offer inspiration and advice to enterprising individuals and organisations in the wider community with talks and programmes run by the Winchester Business School and by our Wired Wessex network.”

The deadline for entries to all categories is Friday, March 7.