Distinguishing yourself from the competition is challenging, and if you’re a small business or startup, this hurdle is even harder to overcome. As the new business on the block, it can also be difficult to gain credibility and market share when you don’t yet have a strong track record of delivering what you’ve promised.

Winning an entrepreneurial or small business award can help a company gain recognition and credibility, and the benefits don’t necessarily stop there. According to a study on U.S. businesses by British Quality Foundation, small award-winning companies experienced a 63 percent increase in operating income and a 39 percent growth in sales compared to non-winners. In other words, it can pay to win ⁠— and you can’t win if you don’t enter.

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