Discover the Latest Opportunities for Your Card & Gift Business

Are you seeking opportunities for your card or gift business this month?

Now the madness of a new year has calmed down a little and our first trade shows are underway or completed, February might be the perfect time to think about business growth. 

With that in mind, it’s time once again to look out our monthly opportunities, in the February 2020 Opportunity List. 

This month’s round-up includes calls for artists and retailers, as well as an exciting chance for small businesses to win a shiny prize at The Small Awards. 

Let’s look what the month ahead has on offer…

Awards & Competitions

24th Annual Webby Awards

Established in 1996, The Webbys is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), a 2000+ member judging body comprised of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries, creative celebrities,  former Webby Winners, nominees and other Internet professionals.

Reflecting the tremendous growth of the Internet, The Webbys now honours excellence in 7 major media types: Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Apps, Mobile, & Voice, Games, and Podcasts.

If your online offering deserves a little awards attention be sure to check out the Webby’s website for application details.

Deadline Extended: 7th February 2020.

FSB Search for UK’s Most Outstanding Small Businesses

The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards recognise and celebrate the huge contribution that smaller businesses and the self-employed make to the UK.

Entering awards provides you with an opportunity to market your business in a way that attracts new business, collaborators and top-quality employees. People are influenced by awards when searching for products or services. Everybody likes an ‘award-winning’ business.

The awards are free to enter and you do not have to be an FSB member to apply.

Find out more on the FSB awards website.

Deadline: Various 10th January 2020 – 14th February 2020).

The British Quality Foundation (BQF) UK Excellence Awards 2020

BQF’s awards celebrate organisations and individuals that represent excellence, whether it be through customer experience, employee engagement or leadership. Our awards are open to all types of organisations – regardless of size, sector or industry.

For 2020 the BQF has added 4 new award categories as part of their ‘Excellence In’ series; bringing more opportunities to showcase commitment to quality.

To find out more and register your interest in applying please visit the BQF website.

Deadline: Various (7th February – 31st March 2020).


The National Family Business Awards

Returning for their 11th year, the National Family Business Awards showcase the very best in family-owned businesses.

Whether you’re a large 5th generation manufacturer in Yorkshire, a small husband and wife farm shop in Devon or a cutting-edge technology company in Edinburgh; these awards will showcase your business on a national scale. 

The competition is open to all family firms, regardless of size, industry or location. 

To find out more & enter visit The Family Buisness Awards website

Deadline: 28th February 2020.


The Small Awards

Applications are now open for The Small Awards. Judged by some of the most highly respected small businesses in the UK, The Small Awards aim to shine a light on SME’s across the country.

Run by the same folks that give us Small Business Saturday every December, these awards are likely to get a lot of positive promotion.

The Awards has 11 categories such as ‘High Street Hero’ and ‘Heart of Gold’; as well as the ultimate ‘Small Business of the Year Award’.

Backed by some big-name sponsors including Entrepreneur& TSB, The Small Awards are sure to generate some valuable media attention for the winners.

To find out more about the award categories and how you can get involved please visit The Small Awards website.

Deadline: Midnight 13th March 2020.


the opportunity list february 2020

Business Support Opportunities

Leading to Grow Programme

leading to grow programme

Image credit: University of Leicester

Introduced by the Univesity of Leicester, the ‘Leading to Grow Programme’ will support small businesses to grow, innovate and increase productivity through adopting digital and new technologies.

The programme aims to help small business owners to explore digital and new technologies suited to their business goals, and to develop the management capabilities they need to implement the technologies.

The programme will be offered by the University as part of a consortium of 15 business schools across England that have been accredited by the Small Business Charter.

Participation is free to eligible ‘microbusinesses’ with between 1-9 employees. Places are fully funded by the Business Basics Fund from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.

To take part your business must:

  1. Be a formally registered business (i.e. the business must have a VAT number or PAYE number or Companies House registration) which has a trading history of three or more years.
  2. Employ between 1-9 people.
  3. Not have participated on a formal programme to raise productivity delivered by a business school in the last 12 month

For more information and to apply, visit the University of Leicester website

Rising Retail Masterclass

Rising Retail is a Masterclass for independent gift shop retailers and leading experts to come together to share best practices that they can then take home to improve their businesses and enhance their high streets.

The packed programme will cover:

  • Trends – What’s coming and how to take advantage
  • Visual merchandising – How to create exciting shopping experiences
  • Lessons from the top – Tips from majors that indies can benefit from
  • Staff – Recruiting, motivating, and retaining great retail teams
  • Making Mistakes  – Classic mistakes Indie Retailers can learn from
  • Going Green – How retailers can reduce their environmental impact
  • Instagram – Retailer tips for growing sales through social media
  • Social Selling – How using online groups can boost sales
  • Google My Business – How to boost footfall to your store
  • How to build an engaged community for £50
  • Negotiating – how to cut costs and save money as an independent

The Rising Retail event has been rescheduled for Monday 1st June 2020.

More information will be shared about the new date as it arrives.


Industry Events

Greeting Card Association Announce New Dragons Event

The UK Greeting Card Association (GCA) have announced a new Dragons Speed Dating Event.

Now in its 4th year, this increasingly popular event matchmakes greetings card publishers with prospective business partners. Giving them the opportunity to network with existing business contacts and keep up to date with current industry issues.

Held on the afternoon of 16th March at the Business Design Centre, London N1 (1 pm-5.15 pm), the member’s event is open to up to 72 different publishers and 18 different retailers.

Over the course of the afternoon retailers will meet 12 different greeting card publishers for 10 minutes each. Publishers will get the opportunity to meet 3 different buyers, to submit up to 5 cards for the buyers ‘goodie sample bags’, also to attend and submit questions to, a Panel Seminar led by some of our GCA Council Members. 

Publisher places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis once the booking has opened on 18th February.

Details on exactly how to book have not been released yet so be sure to take a look at the GCA website for full information and consider joining the association if you want to take part in this member’ event.

National Stationery Week Seeks Retail Partners

National Stationery Week has put the call out for retailers to join the campaign!

Now in its 10th year, National Stationery Week is aiming to be bigger and better than ever before with a new look POS kit available for its retail partners. 

For £50 (+ VAT), companies will receive window vinyls, posters, shelf strips, wobblers and digital assets to draw customers into store whilst becoming a key part of the week-long stationery spectacle. 

Those taking part will also have their name listed on the National Stationery Week website.

Running from the 20th-26th April 2020, National Stationery Week celebrates all things stationery. This year they will also be doing some good, thanks to the campaign’s partnership with VENT for Change.

Each brand will receive a pot of eco-friendly pencils to help raise money for children’s education projects.

National Stationery Week is an opportunity for retailers in the industry to be part of an event that reaches a wide international audience. 

If you would like to take part you can sign up for your POS pack at the National Stationery Week website.

Opportunities for Artists & Designers

Artists Wanted to Sculpture in the Valley 2020

Waveney & Blyth Arts’ Sculpture in the Valley 2020 flagship sculpture event will this year curated by David Baldry on the Suffolk coast.

Waveney & Blyth Arts’ Sculpture in the Valley 2020 will be held at Potton Hall, Westleton on the Suffolk coast from 18th July to 2nd August 2020.

Organisers are looking for artists to submit proposals with the theme ‘Reflections on Landscape’, which invites artists to consider ideas about scale (micro to macro), perspectives and interaction between wild and cultivated aspects of the landscape.

For more information and to apply, visit the competition website

Deadline: 7th February 2020.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) has Scholarships Up for Grabs

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) offers Scholarships of up to £18,000 for the training and education of talented craftspeople.

Aiming to sustain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts and contribute to excellence in the British craft industry.
The scholarships fund the education and training of any individual UK resident, aged 17 or older, who would like to improve their craft skills.

For more information on the Scholarships programme please visit the QEST website

Deadline: 10th February 2020.

Designers/Makers Wanted for Creative Europe Project

autor 2020 call for entries

Image credit: Crafts Council

AUTOR International Contemporary Jewelry Fair has put the call out for entries. 

Established in 2009, AUTOR has positioned itself throughout its 19 editions as an innovative fair, a connector and a context creator for contemporary and art jewellery creative talents.

This year the fair will take place from the 9th-10th May, in Bucharest, Romania.

Beyond the actual fair, AUTOR is an active platform that promotes communication between jewellery artists and their public: consumers, collectors, distributors, specialised media.

Candidates from all countries and nationalities are eligible to participate in the fair.

The jury members are seeking strong concepts and powerful ideas; as well as meaningful pieces of storytelling & originality.

There are no restrictions regarding materials, size and concept of the pieces so if you’re a jewellery designer seeking opportunities to grow your business please visit the AUTOR website for more information. 

Deadline: 24th February 2020.

Like Opportunities for Your Business?

That’s a wrap on the February 2020 Opportunities List.

I hope you’ve found some ideas for ways you can grow your business or get a little attention this month.

Check back next month for more opportunities.

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