The Eastern Daily Press Business Awards is one of the highlights of the year for Norfolk businesses. Every year, the judges are blown away by the quality of entrants, which makes it very tough to pick the winners.

This tricky task is almost complete, with the four finalists in each category to be revealed on November 1. The finalists will be invited to the celebration event at the Norfolk Showground, Norwich on Thursday, November 23, where the winners will be announced.

The award entries and nominations go through two rounds of judging. The initial application forms allow the judges to assess entries against a five-point criteria for each category. They are then shortlisted to a handful of businesses that make it through to round two, which is a meeting with the judges.

There are two judges per category: one is a representative from the category sponsor and the other is either a previous winner or a well-respected member of the local business community.

These expert judges are a critical part of the judging process. Here, some of the judges explain why they were so eager to be part of the EDP Business Awards 2023:

Eastern Daily Press: Joe Faulkner, head of Norwich office, KPMGJoe Faulkner, head of Norwich office, KPMG (Image: KPMG LLP)

Joe Faulkner, head of Norwich office, KPMG
Judging the Medium Business of the Year category

I often see great examples of innovation and excellence from businesses and so am delighted to be able to bring my experience to support these awards.

From cutting-edge tech start-ups through to some of the UK’s best-loved brands, Norfolk has a history of creating and fostering great businesses.

It’s always important to recognise and celebrate the new companies emerging in our region, and this year is particularly important given the challenges and uncertainty across the wider economic landscape.

Eastern Daily Press: Caroline Jarrold, community affairs adviser, JarroldsCaroline Jarrold, community affairs adviser, Jarrolds (Image: Simon Buck)

Caroline Jarrold, community affairs adviser, Jarrolds
Judging the Environmental and Sustainability Award category

This is the first time I have been a judge for the EDP Business Awards, although I have judged the East of England Tourism Awards in the past.

It is fascinating to see the attention to detail which businesses put into their submissions, ranging from large and well-known businesses to much smaller ambitious fledgling organisations.

The awards are a great opportunity to highlight the activities of businesses within this area and raise awareness within the community of the diversity of the engine which drives so much of the economy.

I’m delighted to have been invited to be a judge for this important category.

Eastern Daily Press: Crissy Meades, chief people officer, The AF GroupCrissy Meades, chief people officer, The AF Group (Image: Richard Drury)

Crissy Meades, chief people officer The AF Group
Judging the Employer of the Year category

Having won Employer of the Year last year and experienced the amazingly positive impact the award has brought to the organisation, I am both delighted and proud to be able to support the judging for this year’s awards.

It has been great to see so many businesses apply, and I am looking forward to meeting some of them and seeing the great work they do and getting a feel for their culture first hand.

Norfolk has so many great businesses, and without opportunities like the EDP Business Awards, some of these businesses perhaps wouldn’t get the credit and recognition they deserve.

Eastern Daily Press: Mike Scott, managing director, Potters ResortsMike Scott, managing director, Potters Resorts (Image: Potters Resorts)

Mike Scott, managing director, Potters Resorts
Judging the Customer Excellence Award category

Norfolk’s remarkable businesses often go unrecognised, but they possess unmatched determination and ingenuity.

Through these awards, we shine a spotlight on their outstanding achievements, motivating others and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Recognising and celebrating these exceptional enterprises not only promotes their success but also shines a well-deserved spotlight on Norfolk’s thriving business community.

Eastern Daily Press: Emma Douglas-Beet, scaleup director, Innovate UKEmma Douglas-Beet, scaleup director, Innovate UK (Image: Innovate UK)

Emma Douglas-Beet, scaleup director
Innovate UK Judging the Rising Star of the Year category

My work at Innovate UK exposes me to some of the UK’s leading innovative scale-up businesses, and Norfolk can equally compete with those businesses located in London and Cambridge.

The EDP Business Awards is one way of showcasing our local talent, and it has been a privilege to use my knowledge and experience in judging and selecting our winners.

Shining a spotlight on our amazing businesses in Norfolk will motivate future generations of founders to start, create and grow even more inspirational organisations that compete locally and on a global stage.

Eastern Daily Press: Kim Uzzell, director, The Financial Wellbeing AcademyKim Uzzell, director, The Financial Wellbeing Academy (Image: The Financial Wellbeing Academy)

Kim Uzzell, director, The Financial Wellbeing Academy
Judging the Growth Business of the Year category

Having been part of the business and professional community in Norfolk during a career of over 35 years, it is a privilege to be able to support a community that has supported me, and which continues to do so!

Norfolk is still thought of as being a bit slow on the uptake – a sleepy place where nothing much of note ever happens. Nothing could be further from the truth, though, and the business community we have is absolutely thriving. 

We are one of life’s best kept secrets, and although we might want to keep the secrets and protect our beautiful county, we should also be shouting about the opportunities, successes and benefits of being here!

Eastern Daily Press: Rebecca Headden, business director, R13 RecruitmentRebecca Headden, business director, R13 Recruitment (Image: Jenny Jones)

Rebecca Headden, business director, R13 Recruitment
Judging the Director of the Year category

I love Norfolk businesses. I love to learn all about them – who they are, what they do, what makes them special and all about the people behind them who bring things to life. To have the opportunity to be involved in judging the awards is a dream and an honour.

I am looking forward to visiting the contenders and lifting the lid, to honouring every nominee and celebrating the winners.

To highlight and congratulate those that are doing great things is a necessity, not a nice to have. It brings kudos to not only the winners and nominees, but to the region as a whole.

Tickets are now on sale for the EDP Business Awards ceremony on Thursday, November 23. Please visit