A total of 1,735 companies have registered for the 2021 SME of the Year Award, an award that they convene annually Santander Bank and the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to recognize the work of small and medium-sized enterprises as generators of wealth and creators of employment in the performance of their daily work.
The Award reaches its fifth edition this year and, in the absence of registrations in Albacete, where the Pyme Award will be convened in September, the number of participating companies is a record, despite the difficult circumstances that SMEs went through last year such as consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Madrid, with 81 registered companies; Barcelona, with 80; and Valencia, with 69, are the three provinces that have registered the highest participation.
The 5th SME of the Year Award has been convened in 50 provinces and the autonomous city of Ceuta and has the participation of 47 territorial Chambers of Commerce, 13 Territorial Directorates of Banco Santander and the main newspapers of the Spanish press.
In the next few days, the meetings of the provincial juries will begin that will decide, among all the candidates, six winners: Provincial SME of the Year Award, Internationalization Accésit, Training and Employment Accésit, Innovation and Digitization Accésit, Responsible Company Accésit and COVID Reinvention Special Mention, a new category that aims to reward the initiatives that small and medium-sized Spanish companies have developed to adapt to the pandemic situation caused by the coronavirus: new lines of business, new sales channels, diversification of company activities , implementation of teleworking, etc.
The juries will value merits in their deliberations such as job creation, with special attention to permanent employment; training actions for employees; international activity, focusing on the evolution of exports and the opening to new markets; innovation and digitization initiatives; socially responsible projects and initiatives to adapt to the COVID pandemic.
The provincial winners will compete for the 2021 National SME Award, which will be awarded in the first quarter of next year. The winners of the four second prizes and the one with the Special Mention will also compete for the National Prize, in their respective categories.
More than 5,600 participating SMEs
The SME of the Year Award is consolidated with this fifth edition as the benchmark award for small and medium-sized Spanish companies. His Majesty the King presented the winners with the 2020 National Awards. The 2020 National SME of the Year Award went to FacePhi from Alicante. The National Accésit of Internationalization went to Fonyou Telecom, from Madrid. Barcelona-based WallboxChargers received the National Second Prize for Innovation and Digitization. The Responsible Company award was awarded to Ingeniería Proyectos & Consulting Lanza. Finally, the Special Mention for the Best Initiative in the Fight against COVID went to Gas N2itrogen.
Since the constitution of this Award, in 2017, more than 5,600 companies have participated in it in the different categories.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.