Paula Gopee-Scoon

Champions of Business award recipients, along with Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, fourth from left, and T&T Chamber president Reyaz Ahamad, next to her, gather for the 2019 awards ceremony, which was held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) on November 15, 2019.

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce launched its annual Champions of Business Awards last week, opening the period of nominations for 2020. The awards programme is a celebration of business excellence in Trinidad and Tobago and is designed to recognise and acclaim the outstanding and exemplary contributions of Trinidad and Tobago’s top business leaders and companies, and inspire others to strive towards the highest standards in corporate life.

Nominations were opened on Monday, August 10 and will close at midnight, September 7, 2020.

There are four categories of awards including Entrepreneur Awards, Business Technology, Internationally Known…T&T Owned Company of the Year and the Business Hall of Fame. The award recipients will be unveiled at a ceremony hosted by the T&T Chamber on November 20, 2020.

As a result of Covid-19 pandemic, we will be making a pivot this year. Taking our inspiration from the crisis, the awards event was “Redefined and Reimagined” – the theme for this year’s programme. For the first time, we will present a live telecast and online streaming of the prestigious occasion, broadcast over CNC3 with a select ‘studio’ audience. This promises to be an exciting new phase for this awards programme, as it will reach its widest national audience to date, giving unprecedented exposure to our finalists, award recipients and sponsors. Our livestream will also be capable of reaching audiences outside of Trinidad and Tobago.

In another first, we are pleased to welcome two new category sponsors for 2020, namely the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation award for Entrepreneurship and the Export-Import Bank (EXIMBANK) of Trinidad and Tobago for Internationally Known...T&T Owned. They will join returning category sponsors bmobile (Business Technology) and Guardian Life of the Caribbean Limited (Business Hall of Fame), as well as media partners Guardian Media Limited and Music Radio 97.1 FM. We have additionally secured Southern Sales and Service Company Limited, Atlantic and the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange as Bronze sponsors.

Together, the categories of Champions of Business represent the life and growth phases of a successful business, from start-up, through technological growth and internationalisation, to lifetime achievement. As it does each year, the T&T Chamber is asking the public to nominate men and women who have undertaken the journey and are deserving of being named a Champion of Business. Neither nominees nor the persons nominating them need to be members of the T&T Chamber. Awardees are determined after assessment by an appointed committee of the T&T Chamber.

This public nomination process gives you the opportunity to shine a light on outstanding businesses and business people across Trinidad and Tobago that you believe can qualify to be the next Champion of Business. Whether in services, manufacturing, retail or export; whether large, medium or small; whether a start-up or a conglomerate or somewhere in between—there is a suitable category. Members of the public, business people and organisations are invited to visit our webpage at www.chamber.org.tt to name their Champion in the following categories:

Entrepreneurship Awards (two awards): This category salutes a group of extraordinary entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses through true grit, determination and by embracing change.

- Emerging Entrepreneur: Three finalists will be selected from among all nominees for the Emerging Entrepreneur title, with one individual being selected as the Award Recipient.

- SME Pivot: An entrepreneur or business that has pivoted as a result of Covid-19. This entrepreneur will receive a Special Award for his/her ability to pivot in the face of challenges experienced this year.

Business Technology: Technology is critical to the success of business enterprise today. This award is directed to the growing sector of businesses that are either technology-driven or technology-supported in a significant way.

Three companies / individuals will be shortlisted, whose business concepts or business solutions epitomise innovation and uniqueness, or have transformed their industry in a significant way. One company or individual will emerge as the recipient of the Business Technology award.

Internationally Known…T&T Owned Company of the Year: One company will be honoured for achieving success beyond our borders by moving their business from a local to an internationally recognised brand. The successful exporter will be named the Internationally Known…T&T Owned Company of The Year 2020.

Business Hall of Fame (two Inductees): Each year, two outstanding individuals (one of whom must be posthumous) who qualify for lifetime achievement in the sphere of business are inducted into the T&T Chamber’s Business Hall of Fame. These persons exemplify business excellence—both in commercial prowess and in corporate national responsibility.

The full criteria for all categories are available on our website www.chamber.org.tt along with nomination forms. You can nominate a Champion in three easy steps:

1. Go to our website, www.chamber.org.tt, and click on Champions of Business.

2. Download the relevant form.

3. E-mail the completed form to events@chamber.org.

We look forward to receiving your nominations before midnight, September 7, 2020!

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