Launched at a special event held at Derby Quad last night (11 January), the awards are the showpiece programme of the Generation Next network for young professionals and entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35, which is run by East Midlands Chamber in conjunction with headline partner the University of Derby.
It features 11 categories, ranging from a Start-up Award and Customer Service Award through to Innovation and Technology Award and the Generation Next Future Leader.
The programme includes a new addition that recognises “rising stars” who show ongoing growth and development, as well as refreshed guidelines for prizes recognising outstanding contributions in diversity and inclusion, creativity, corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
The application process of each category award has also been streamlined for a “one form fits all” method involving a reduced number of questions.
Lucy Robinson, East Midlands Chamber’s director of resources and Generation Next lead, said: “The Generation Next Awards are a celebration of the amazing young talent within the East Midlands, and our diverse programme recognises the next generation of business who make outstanding contributions to their communities.
“We want to encourage young professionals from across the region to tell their story and celebrate their successes. There is an award to suit everyone at each stage of their career.”
Last July, Generation Next held its first in-person awards celebration at Bustler Market in Derby, and recognised young talent such as apprentice Ruby Birks, who works for South Normanton-based marketing agency Purpose Media, and the three entrepreneurs behind Derby-based digital marketing and web development agency Alphageek.
It was an awards ceremony with a twist, featuring street food, a live DJ and arcade games. More than 220 people attended, marking it as a new milestone in the Chamber’s events calendar. This year’s ceremony will be held on 13 July, and the venue will be confirmed in the coming months.
Entries are open for the 2023 awards from now until Monday 6 March. They can be submitted either by individuals within the 18 to 35 age bracket or on their behalf by a colleague or line manager.
Applications can be downloaded at generationnextemc.co.uk/awards and should be emailed to the Generation Next team at email@example.com.