Awards for Excellence: putting your business under the microscope

As we head into August, the closing date for entries for the Awards for Excellence is inching ever closer.

This year’s Awards ceremony will take place at the Villa Marina on Thursday 14th November, with the closing date for entries Friday 13th September. The Awards recognise success from small start-up businesses, to those already with a foothold in the international market. In addition, they recognise community groups, volunteers, and individuals for the contribution they make to the Isle of Man. 

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It is this collective contribution that makes the Isle of Man such a unique place to live and work. 

The process of entering for an Award starts with the completion of an entry form, which asks entrants to showcase their achievements over the past year.

Island Travel were last year’s recipients of the Derivco Award for Small Medium Enterprise. Established in 2013, Island Travel provides a full spectrum of travel products to its growing customer base. Their strategy has been simple, but effective, going back-to-basics by offering its customers a personal, tailor-made service, rather than following trends.

Speaking about their entry, Rikki Dunnage, Company Director and Owner of Island Travel, said: “The process of entering is quite exciting and gets you thinking about the way the business is run and performing. There is a good structure to the entry form, and it challenges you to fill it in the best you can.”

While the entry forms asks some challenging questions about an organisation’s operation, there was general agreement from nominees that the process enabled them to put their business under the microscope, a first for many of the entrants. 

Manx Industrial Relations

Manx Industrial Relations

Manx Industrial Relations took home the Manx Telecom-sponsored Public Sector Achievement of the Year Award at last year’s ceremony. Awarded for their contribution to the social and economic success of the Island’s good industrial relations, Julie Bradley said of the entry process: “While it took us quite a while to put our entry together, it was genuinely time well spent. It’s the first time we have ever collated so much information about our achievements, and it was extremely rewarding to read the finished report.

“It really pulled together everything we had achieved, which isn’t something we’d ever seen grouped together before!”

Speaking about the year in business following their win, Rikki of Island Travel said: “For months following our win we had a large number of customers mentioning that it was well deserved, which means a lot. Simply displaying the Award in a prominent position in store gives us a talking point with our customers. 

“In the year following, business is doing really well. We continue to grow at an amazing rate, and my business partner and I have even opened a new business in the wake of Island Travel performing exceptionally.”

Island Travel

Island Travel

Another winner of last year’s awards was, who won the Claremont Award for Innovation and Independent Thinking. is an online marketplace that connects those with unwanted travel plans to those looking to book incredible last-minute deals. The site now has over 150,000 registered users, has attracted over 25,000 travel listings, and has grown to additional offices in both London and San Francisco. 

Simon Powell, CEO of, said: “The exposure that the Awards gave us was amazing for various reasons. It was great to be recognised by so many local businesses and individuals that had not heard about us being based on the Island. It also helped drive the next phase of our recruitment as the Award helped to create credibility within the local community.

“The Awards win has undoubtedly assisted us with gaining a couple of off-Island contracts. We created some social media content to celebrate our win, which reached over 12,000 people organically. This certainly helped me and the team interact with more businesses and get the name out there.”

Transfer Travel

Transfer Travel

Manx Industrial Relations also reported similar exposure.

“It certainly put us in the spotlight with the great deal of positive recognition, as we don’t normally get an opportunity to broadcast what we do or our successes,” said Julie Bradley. 

“The most positive impact that our win at the Awards had was our continued personal pride in what we’ve achieved as the smallest Government department. It has given us greater credibility, and the recognition is wonderful. It confirms that our very small team has made a meaningful contribution to the Island’s economy.”

If you wish to enter any of the categories in the Awards for Excellence, you can do so by visiting and downloading the relevant entry forms. Deadline for entries is Friday 13th September 2019. Any questions can be emailed to 

Written by: Martyn Anderson