THE organisers of the Dorset Business Awards have announced the return of the Business Leader of the Year and the Creative Impact Award.

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has confirmed its support for the Business Leader of the Year Award, while and new sponsor Digipigz has joined forces with its parent company Liz Lean PR to support the Creative Impact Award.

The Business Leader of the Year Award, sponsored by Dorset LEP, is set to recognise an individual who has demonstrated exceptional vision and inspirational leadership, achieving measured and sustainable growth and is driving high performance within their organisation. It will honour an individual making a significant contribution to the wider business community and the local economy.

2017 business leader winner Warren Munson, from Inspire Professional Services, was acknowledged by judges for his passion and contribution towards not only his own firm but for his dedication to entrepreneurial events which serve the business community.

Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP director, says: “Dorset LEP is pleased to be sponsoring the Dorset Business Awards once again. We decided to support the Business Leader of the Year Award because the success of local business is crucial to our work and this is a great opportunity to shine a light on some of the outstanding work of Dorset’s business leaders in helping to grow the local, regional and national economy.

"It is also a valuable opportunity for us to show our support for the Dorset business community.”

The Creative Impact Award welcomes Digipigz, a new service designed to connect businesses directly to the ever-changing youth market for key insights and research, to the award category sponsor line-up and alongside its parent agency Liz Lean PR.

This category acknowledges first-class examples of innovation and originality in creative projects, campaigns or initiatives completed in the last 12 months.

In 2017, Bournemouth-based digital agency Cold Banana Studio impressed judges with work completed for its client National Grid.

Liz Willingham, managing director at Sandbanks-based PR and marketing consultancy Liz Lean PR, said: “2018 is a milestone year for Liz Lean PR, with the consultancy celebrating 20 years of delivering effective campaigns for a strong portfolio of clients on national, regional and local levels. Introducing Digipigz to our service offering, it is therefore important to us more than ever to recognise and celebrate the diverse range of projects, campaigns and initiatives delivered by our colleagues in the creative sector.

"The county has a strong creative offering with a dynamic community, demonstrating skills in everything from advertising and marketing to app and software development and we really want this celebrated and acknowledged.”

Organised by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, the awards are also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105 and are free to enter.

Entries can be submitted at

The closing date for entry is Friday August 3. Entry is open to all companies based in Dorset with a BH or DT postcode and entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information about the aards, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve tickets for the gla dnner at the BIC on Thursday, November 1, contact the DBA team on 01202 714800.

Sponsor profile – Liz Lean PR

Sandbanks-based public relations and marketing communications agency Liz Lean PR is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Since 1998 Liz Lean PR has served clients in a variety of industry sectors, with competencies in lifestyle, tourism, retail, health, care, property development, local government and professional services.

The agency successfully assists large organisations, not-for-profit businesses, educational institutions, and small to medium businesses with public relations, strategic planning, marketing, crisis management, social media, corporate social responsibility projects and event management services on a national, regional and local level.

Sponsor profile – Digipigz

Digipigz aims to bridge the gap between businesses and the next generation, delivering focused market research and insights from the minds of our loudest young voices, whilst providing the next generation with an outlet to express their knowledge as well access to a likeminded and supportive community.

Sponsor profile – Dorset LEP

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a business led private and public sector partnership that aims to promote local economic growth and prosperity.

Acting as a strategic gateway to funding, Dorset LEP supports and delivers projects of long term economic benefit for all in Dorset through cross sector partnership.

The core aims of the LEP are to:

• Create more jobs

• Aid the up-skilling of Dorset’s workforce

• Drive long-term growth of the local economy

• Support housing provisions.

Past winner quotes:

Luke Fribbens, managing director at Cold Banana, winner of Creative and Digital Impact 2017: “I would say that winning the DBA for Creative Impact last year has raised the profile of our agency locally, making it easier to attract talent, whilst also giving us extra credibility when speaking to new prospective clients - particularly as the digital scene in Bournemouth and Poole is so competitive.

“We also found that the ceremony was very well attended by a diverse range of local businesses. This allowed us to network with different sizes of other businesses all driven by a common factor: we were all recognised as the ‘best of’ in the local area. From this, we have forged some great relationships with other business owners, which is always a really valuable reason to enter these awards.”