A 200-year-old organisation like British Gas might not be the first example you’d think of when talking about innovation. After all, innovation only comes from a handful of mega-brained whizzes armed with lots of expensive technology and shiny kit, right? Wrong.

Successful innovation can come from anywhere in your business.  A single idea – wherever it comes from – can be enough to spark something truly different and groundbreaking. Innovation is about responding to change, thinking differently and breaking away from the tried-and-tested.

Great innovations should also delight your customers – think about the iPod, the bagless vacuum cleaner or the solar panel. They can also revolutionise the way we live – think of the first caveman who chipped away at a rock to form an axe.

The drive to invent, improve and experiment is the lifeblood of UK business. That’s why British Gas is proud to sponsor the Most Innovative Business category at this year’s Smarta 100 Awards. We’re looking forward to discovering the UK’s most exciting businesses and finding out how they are changing their industries for the better. Last year’s winner Ecoegg has been shaking up the laundry habits of UK consumers since 2008 and has gone from strength to strength, recently announcing a deal with Tesco.

And what are we at British Gas Business doing to continually innovate? We know that the best new ideas come from knowing our customers and exactly what you want from us, so we’ve created a customer engagement panel to make sure we’re listening and working with you to deliver what you want, when you want it. We’re also striving to bring you new and innovative ways to reduce your energy usage and creating tools to make managing your energy even easier.

If you’re an innovative UK business, you can enter the 2013 Smarta 100 before 31 August. You could be recognised at a star-studded event in November and could even walk away with a cheque for £10,000. We’d also love to hear from you and share your story – whether you’ve launched a new and exciting product or changed the way you work to meet your customers’ needs – get in touch or add a comment below.

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