Small Business of the Year

This Award recognizes exemplary small businesses in the military S&T domain.

The OECD defines a small business as a non-subsidiary, independent firm that employs fewer than a given number of employees. Some countries use an upper limit of 500 employees; the most frequent upper limit in the EU is 250. In the case of this award, we have aligned with the OECD observation that “Small firms are generally those with fewer than 50 employees”.

To be eligible for this award, the business must be a non-subsidiary, independent firm with fewer than 50 full time employees.

An exemplary small business leverages human capital, innovation and agility to grow and meet client needs, while cultivating a growing technical and social influence in the community.

Submission Guidelines
To qualify, nominations must:

  • Be submitted by an officer of the business nominated;
  • Be for a business that has been established for 5 years or more;
  • Include a description of the business, not to exceed 500 words, that describes the business and the business of the firm, including R&D activities, products and services;
  • Include a summary of the strengths of the business;
  • Provide quantitative metrics to illustrate growth;  
  • May include client testimonials;
  • Include a completed release statement; and
  • Be received by the deadline.

Security and Confidentiality
Access to submissions will be on a “need to know basis”, however submitters should be aware there is no facility to handle data from Official Use Only, and higher categories at the national, NATO and other levels, and draft their submissions accordingly. All submissions will be destroyed within one month of the final awards. Submitters should identify data that has “commercial sensitivity”.

Tip Sheet: For further guidance on what makes a quality submission, click here. [opens in a new tab]

Evaluation Criteria
For this award, the criteria are centered on innovation, growth and impact.

  1. Innovation: Innovation and the development of unique products and services are attributes that mark outstanding small businesses. Submissions with evidence of innovation will be weighted higher.
  2. Growth & Potential: Business exhibiting year over year growth over the last three years will be weighted higher. Key indicators such as year over year growth of employees, product lines, revenue, and client base can provide a snapshot illustrating that growth. Infusions of venture capital can be a proxy for both growth and potential. 
  3. Impact: Businesses that can demonstrate an impact on the military S&T community and their local community will be rated higher. Impact on the S&T community can be demonstrated through outcomes such as technical evolution, client benefits, and collaborations and partnerships. Impact on the local community can be demonstrated by the outcomes of actions such as supporting education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives.

Who may nominate for an award?
An officer of the small business, as defined above, may submit a submission for the Small Business of the Year. 

Making a Submission

  1. Using the guidelines in the template for your category, create a draft of your submission. Keep in mind the tips.
  2. Finalize your draft.
  3. When you are satisfied that your submission is complete, copy and paste the content into the forms of the template.
  4. You will not be able to edit on line once the submission is made. Check everything again.
  5. Submit using the button on the bottom of the form
  6. In the remote event you have changes to make you will be required to completely resubmit. The version with the most recent time stamp before the closing date will be accepted. 
  7. Submissions/versions time stamped after the closing date/time will not be considered.