EMPLOYERS who put responsibility at the heart of their business alongside commercial success are being urged to enter the Dorset Business Awards.

They can apply for the Business Engagement in the Community Award, sponsored by JP Morgan, in the 2015 Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily and Dorset Echo.

The judges will be looking for finalists who can demonstrate that they are leading on corporate social responsibility in Dorset. The award will acknowledge a company which has dedicated community initiatives.

Last year, Freshleaf Media Limited in Wimborne won because the judges were impressed by how the company demonstrated successful engagement with the community by providing free and reduced rate websites via its charitable giving programme. Katie Theisinger, from Freshleaf Media Limited, said: “We were really surprised to even be chosen as a finalist, let alone to win. Our company is founded on an ethos of using our work to support the local community and charities, which really is its own reward – but winning a Dorset Business Award was a fantastic bonus.

“Winning the award has not only increased our profile, we’ve also had a number of business enquiries as a result. A lot of companies now are looking for ethical credentials in the companies they partner with, and so winning the Business Engagement in the Community Award is a great way for us to show that we really do give back to our community. “Since winning this award we have continued to put 10 per cent of our net profits towards charity, and we are currently working towards creating a more structured programme – which may involve a community competition or bursaries.”

Entrants should include details of: n Evidence of initiatives or projects undertaken that impact on the local community – for example, involvement in community projects, social causes, education, employee volunteer schemes, environment and recycling schemes n Background details to these initiatives or projects, how they were developed, implemented and the length of time that they have been operating as well as employee involvement n A summary on the impact that these initiatives or projects have had on the company and the local community Any Dorset business based in Dorset can enter. this award or Any school, voluntary organisation, charity or local community initiative can nominate a local company but the nominated company will need to submit the entry.

For details of how to enter the Dorset Business Awards, visit dorsetbusinessawards.co.uk. The closing date for entry is Friday, September 11.


JP Morgan is a leading global financial services firm with a presence in Bournemouth for almost 30 years. An active Supporting the Community programme provides assistance to local voluntary organisations, charities and schools. Dorcas Williams, vice president, communications, at JP Morgan, said: “This award category gives much needed visibility to companies who go above and beyond what is expected to truly support their community.”