Categories


There are nine separate categories.

Each entrant may enter up to three separate categories (all on the same form). Individuals may enter more than one business (just use a separate entry form for each business).

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 that entrant fits the criteria for the new category better.

Categories are:  
 

Most outstanding fledgling business

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

 

The BNI 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 outstanding lifestyle business
A business which epitomises the ability to integrate business and lifestyle, with the owner(s) taking advantage of its flexibility to fit income generation around spending time on family or leisure activities or other pursuits. While lifestyle is an important judging criterion, this business must still demonstrate its economic viability.

 

The NZBusiness 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.

 

The Bizbuzz Most community-minded business

A business which gives back to its community, e.g. local, regional or industry sector, in ways, shapes or forms 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.

What past entrants say

As a small business owner it’s very easy to forget and celebrate how far you’ve come because we often think about the future, what’s next and take time to stop, pause and reflect. Also entering the awards allowed us to assess all our systems and processes as to how effective and efficient they are, and by spending time “on the business” rather than “in” allowed us to further tighten our systems and foster new ideas that can be used.

Oh – and winning the Supreme Award and the trophy was terrific too!!!

Sachie Nomura
Sachie's Kitchen, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2012

I would recommend any small business to enter the David Awards. Winning the Supreme Award was both an honour and surprise, it’s great to be recognised for doing what you love every day.

The whole Pure SEO team gathered in the boardroom to watch the results on the big screen, the reaction when we won was amazing – the entire team were extremely proud.

We have since used momentum from the win to build and grow our business even more.

 
Richard Conway
Pure SEO, Supreme Winner. The David Awards 2013

Entering the awards allowed us to look at our business from a different angle, celebrate our success and identify areas for improvement. We've come a long way from a suburban garage in Palmerston North... We still both work from home, enjoying the flexible lifestyle rewards; but also the challenges of running what is now a multi-million dollar business with pre-school aged kids sitting underneath the desks and playing in the offices.

The Supreme award was a delightful addition [to the Lifestyle and Transitional awards] and we're sure that we will receive incalculablebenefits from receiving the award

Joe Hesmondhalgh
GroutPro, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2011

Firstly, it allowed us to apply for an award in the true context of our present situation, that of the little battler struggling to emerge from amongst giants. With most awards this aspect is downplayed. In the case of the David Awards it is celebrated.

Secondly, the categories are reflective of the genuine stages faced by startups. Like the above, this allows us to present ourselves frankly and candidly and be judged in a small business context absent the pressure and sophisticated PR of larger operations. […] That we are privileged to have received this award means we can, on our website and other marketing material and in conversation, drop in the fact that we are 'winners'.

To have been externally judged and found meritorious, especially in a place as small as NZ, is very valuable. We will lean on this honour for years to come.

 
Andre Prassinos
Bio Brew, Winner: Most Outstanding Transitional Business, The David Awards 2012.

Winning the 2010 Supreme Award secured us some great publicity as well as additional credibility with new customers.

The whole David Awards experience also gave me confidence and impetus to really push forward in overseas markets. As a result we have recently experienced some encouraging success breaking into the Australian market and we’re building a successful relationship with a UK partner.

Jackie Rive
Brookby Herbs, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2010.

We are just so humbled by this result. We never expected to win both the categories we entered, let alone the top prize. We are blown away by this recognition, and by the feedback we are receiving from our community.

Just entering The David Awards was an opportunity to reflect on what our team has done in our short time as a company, and celebrate many small achievements where we have helped people. It’s brought our team closer together and reminded me personally why I started this business.

To be a finalist was an honour in and of itself. To win Most Outstanding Fledgling Business and Most Community-Minded Business is so humbling. To win the Supreme Award as well… I’m almost at a loss for words.

Blair Ashdowne
Heat Pumps NOW, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2015.

I think the entry format is great. the informal nature of the awards ceremony (some of them are just money-making spinners and all a load of hype). Can't wait to get my subscription of NZ Business!

Entrant
2015 post-Awards survey

It's great that there is an awards group for small-medium businesses around NZ where everyone has a chance to show their stuff. It's not industry specific and it's easy to enter. Don't change that aspect.

Entrant
2015 post-Awards survey

I can confidently say the David Awards for us was great in terms of great PR, new clients (even this week we got a client who saw our article in NZ Business after we won), and of course the thrill. But for me, the best part was seeing how my team felt about us winning this together and watching them grow in confidence of who we are and how we do things.

It was an amazing boost within the first two years of business – like any business owner, even when things are going well, there is a huge responsibility to deliver to both your team and to your clients. To celebrate that hard work and know others have seen your success is just the best feeling.

Rachel Klaver
Identify Marketing & Consulting Ltd, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2016
We are so thrilled and excited to find out that we are the winners!  Can't put in words how highly we appreciate your trust in us!
Ana Lyubich
Excio
I just wanted to send a quick email to that you so much for my Lifestyle Business Award and for the judges comments and feedback.  

I am just so thrilled and this is such motivation to continue to grow my flexible business model to help other in achieving a greater life balance.

Katie Rogers
Kate the Gardener