Generation Next and East Midlands Chamber launches new awards to celebrate region’s young professionals and entrepreneurs

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Posted by: JasmineThompson
Posted on: 25/03/2021

Young talent in businesses across the East Midlands will be celebrated in the first ever Generation Next Awards.

Launching today (Thursday 25 March), entries can now be made for the awards, which are delivered in partnership with the University of Derby and form part of East Midlands Chamber’s new Generation Next network for professionals and business owners aged under 35.

There are seven categories, covering a broad spectrum of people in organisations – from apprentices to business leaders – as well as an award for a fast-growing start-up.

The deadline for entries – which can be made by either employers or their employees – is 26 April, with finalists to be announced on 17 May. Winners will be crowned at a virtual awards ceremony on 16 July.

Lucy Robinson, East Midlands Chamber’s director of resources and Generation Next lead, said: “Generation Next is a really exciting new initiative from the Chamber and these awards promise to be a fantastic celebration of the amazing young talent we have across the East Midlands.

“Young people don’t always receive the recognition they deserve but this is now their chance to tell their stories and showcase their successes.

“It’s also a great opportunity for employers to shout about the great work and innovation coming out of their businesses thanks to the contributions that young employees make every day, who we know are a great asset in ensuring organisations remain fresh and relevant in today’s world.

“We have carefully crafted a broad range of categories, and there’s an award to suit every young professional and entrepreneur at each stage of their career.”

The University of Derby is the headline partner for Generation Next, with GBS Apprenticeships, Nottingham University Business School and The Lettings & Sales Business signed up as sponsors.

Professor Kamil Omoteso, pro vice-chancellor and dean of the University of Derby’s College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, said: “Generation Next is the ideal initiative for providing young professionals with support for their new career or business, and these awards are a superb way of celebrating how those taking part have responded to the challenge of establishing themselves in what is a very competitive environment.

“I hope many employers across our region take up the invitation to nominate candidates for the Generation Next Awards, which will provide everyone whose name is put forward with deserved recognition for their contributions and ideas that are helping to take businesses forward, and to make our region’s economy more dynamic and resilient.”

To enter the Generation Next Awards 2021, visit For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact partnerships manager Sanjib Sahota on or 07776 596889.


Generation Next Awards 2021 categories – who do they recognise?


Apprentice of the Year: Current or past apprentices aged between 18 and 35 who can demonstrate an exceptional contribution they’ve made to their workplace

Entrepreneur of the Year: Dynamic, creative and visionary business leaders who define the qualities  of successful entrepreneurship, including those with drive, ambition and tenacity

Community Award: Individuals who have developed and implemented CSR policies, or promoted inclusive workplaces, as part of their overall business planning or daily life in the office

Customer Service Award: People who are dedicated to continuously improving customer satisfaction and exceeding expectations, or have overcome key challenges

Excellence in Innovation and Technology Award: Business leaders or employees who have used and integrated innovative technology to boost performance within their organisation

Breakthrough Award: New businesses that started in the past three years and have achieves consistent growth backed by strong financial performance – with continued growth ahead

Overall winner – Generation Next Future Leader: An influential individual who has significantly contributed to their industry during their career to date, making a visible difference to their workplace’s growth

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