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Celebrating young business talent

Posted onPosted on 15th Jan

Young business talent across the East Midlands will be showcased through the Generation Next Awards as the programme launches its 2024 season.

Launched at the network’s inaugural conference at the Nottingham Forest City Ground on 12 January, the awards are the showpiece programme of Generation Next – a 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 12 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, the “Investing in Young Talent Award”, that recognises forward-thinking businesses which provide mentorship, training and growth opportunities for young professionals.

The application process of each category award is streamlined to 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.”

Last July, Generation Next returned to Bustler Market in Derby to host its awards ceremony, where it recognised young talent such as Theo Beauchamp, director at Nottingham-based agency Express Recruitment, and Joseph Bentley, who took home two awards for his med-tech start-up ACT Medical for revolutionising the care of stab wounds.

It was an awards ceremony with a twist, featuring street food, a live DJ and arcade games, and attracted more than 250 people from across the East Midlands. This year’s ceremony will be held on 4 July, and the venue will be confirmed in the coming months.

Entries are open for the 2024 awards until Monday 11 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 and should be emailed to the Generation Next team at [email protected] upon completion.

Generation Next Awards 2024 categories

Future Leader Award (sponsored by the University of Derby)

Apprentice of the Year Award (sponsored by Loughborough College)

Creators and Makers Award (available for sponsorship)

Customer Service Award (sponsored by Express Recruitment)

Entrepreneur of the Year Award (available for sponsorship)

Environmental Warrior Award (sponsored by Hydropath Technology Group)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Award (sponsored by Futures Housing Group)

Innovation and Technology Award (sponsored by Hardy Signs)

Rising Star Award (sponsored by Nottingham Trent University)

Start-up Award (sponsored by University of Nottingham)

Volunteering and Charitable Impact Award (sponsored by ITS Technology)

New for 2024 – Investing in Young Talent Award (available for sponsorship)