The sponsors at the launch

Southwark’s prestigious new business awards will recognise the firms “at the heart” of what is one of London’s biggest and most vibrant communities.

The Southwark Business Excellence Awards in association with Lewisham Southwark College, is open for entries from all 18,000 businesses in a borough that stretches east from Southbank to London Bridge and Surrey Docks, and south to Bermondsey, Peckham, Camberwell and Dulwich.

Welcoming the new programme, Stuart Berkoff, Chief Financial Officer of launch sponsor, Sellar, said they were a measure of how far Southwark has come since the company bought the site of The Shard 20 years ago.

He said: “Once overlooked and ignored, Southwark has become one of the capital’s great places to live, work and play.”

Speakers on the launch night included Southwark Chamber Chairman Richard Kalmar, the Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Charlie Smith, Barry Langfield, Vice-Principal of Lewisham Southwark College, and Stuart Berkoff, Chief Financial Officer of launch sponsor, Sellar.

Urging firms to enter, Councillor Johnson Situ, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Business Culture and Regeneration, said the awards will also recognise the borough’s many small businesses.

He commented: “As Southwark continues to transform thanks to a number of regeneration programmes, it is hoped the awards will showcase the achievements of the businesses that are key to the borough’s economic success.”

The new awards programme offers 16 free-to-enter categories (*full list below), including Best Start Up Award, Woman in Business Award and Diversity & Inclusion in Business Award. Each category has been designed to appeal to the widest range of business types and sizes, from start-ups and SME’s to large corporates and social enterprises.

The closing date for entries is Friday 29th March. A shortlist will be announced in mid-April before the second round of judging.

The finale of the event will be the glittering, black-tie Gala Dinner and Charity Ball awards ceremony for 400 people on 21st June, hosted by a celebrity compere.

The new awards are backed by Headline Partner, Lewisham Southwark College, and Awards Partners, Southwark Chamber of Commerce, Southwark Council, and White Label Creative, are sponsored by British Land, and Grosvenor, and supported by Shangri-La Hotel, Jensen’s Gin and Media Partner, Southwark News.

To enter the awards visit

The Southwark Business Excellence Awards 2018 – Categories:

  1. Business of the Year
  2. Entrepreneur of the Year
  3. The SME Excellence Award
  4. Best Business for Customer Service
  5. Independent Retailer of the Year
  6. Business Commitment to Education and Skills
  7. Best Employer
  8. Best New Start-Up
  9. Best Business for Hospitality and Food Excellence
  10. The Award for Excellence in Leisure and Tourism
  11. The Southwark Cultural Commitment Award
  12. Best Charity or Social Enterprise
  13. Best Business for Tech and Innovation
  14. Award for Diversity and Inclusion
  15. Commitment to the Community
  16. Best Woman in Business

Interested in sponsoring or supporting the awards? Please contact: Joanne Horton at or call 0208 726 7968