The winners were selected by an expert jury headed by an expert guarantor from CRIF – Czech Credit Bureau. The companies that participated in the competition literally form the backbone of the domestic economy and are among the most important employers in the Czech Republic. The fact that they are the driving force of the Czech economy has long been confirmed by family businesses – in 2023 they made up more than half of the nominees. Almost 40 percent of OCL participants belong to exporters, dozens of companies took part in the competition for the first time this year.
How are participants selected?
Traditionally, the nomination was based on the evaluation of the Cribis Index of the company CRIF – Czech Credit Bureau, which is the professional guarantor of the competition. Data from financial statements are collected for the last three years. Figures from 2020 and 2021 are evaluated, data from 2022 are only informative.
“We process the account data from the data listed in the collection of documents and they are automatically downloaded to the registration. Companies enter the competition on their own initiative or on the recommendation of the founder of the project,” informs the guarantor of the competition.
As is traditional, the three best companies in each region were also announced this year, and the winners of special categories also received awards: the Award for the greatest potential under the patronage of Enterprise Investors, the Award for Responsible Business under the patronage of CRIF Czech Credit Bureau and the All-Republic Leader under the patronage of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which was supplemented this year by the new category Exceptional firm under the patronage of JŠK, law firm.
The Czech economy stands on the leaders
According to the founder of the project and business platform Helas, Helena Kohoutová, all nominated companies are important employers and ensure not only the economic but also the social stability of the Czech Republic.
“I have always been fascinated by the strength and tenacity of Czech entrepreneurs. They are people who are currently celebrating 25 or 30 years since the establishment of their business, and it is thanks to them that the Czech Republic has the wealth it has. I am talking about people who have built stable companies and it doesn’t matter if it’s a small, medium-sized, or large enterprise, but they are the ones on whom the republic stands, and without them there would be nothing to govern.” says Helena Kohoutová.
An important aspect is also the mutual connection of these leaders, Czech companies and corporations, who are trusted clients and suppliers, in the Business Platform Helas – Budujeme hrdé Česko.
“Participation in the project is free, but companies have the opportunity to join the community, which creates an extraordinary place for business development, relationships and inspiration. What is specific to our Business Platform Helas, which includes the Czech Leaders Award, Czech Exporters Award projects and the Award of Czech Businesswomen, is that it is made up of trusted clients and suppliers and thus creates a safe place for business and new relationships,” adds the founder of the project.
CRIF: Businesses have dealt with the crisis
CRIF – Czech Credit Bureau has been the professional guarantor of the project since the beginning.
Of the 97 nominated leaders, according to the Record of Real Owners, 48% have only one owner, 30% of them have two owners, and one tenth have 3 owners. More than 3 owners figure in 12% of nominees. Almost half of the nominated leaders are companies in which decisions about the status and future are concentrated in the hands of one person, because they have a single owner. The condition of companies is currently significantly affected by problems in the EU markets, especially in Germany. Rising wages, high interest rates and energy prices significantly increase the costs of Czech companies and reduce their competitiveness on the international market, which is a significant burden for an open economy.
“On the other hand, a relatively low rate of bankruptcies has a positive effect. Recently, the number of companies that are declared bankrupt on average annually has been decreasing. In 2021, there were 62 bankruptcies per month, a year later 58 and this year only 56. Favorable however, the development is not reflected in all sectors,” says Pavel Finger, member of the board of CRIF – Czech Credit Bureau.
“In the last twelve months, the transport and storage sector had the highest rate of bankruptcies, in which there were 27 cases per 10,000 registered companies. In terms of bankruptcies, the education, healthcare and social care sectors are doing best (3 bankruptcies per 10,000 companies) as well as the information and communication technology,” adds Pavel Finger.
“The number of companies continues to increase – that is, more companies are created than disappear, but the increase is slightly decreasing. This year, 18 new companies accounted for 10 companies that disappeared, a year ago there were 20 new companies, and in 2021 the ratio was 10:21. However, this positive phenomenon does not apply to all sectors. Companies in the trade sector have been declining for a long time. On the other hand, the highest growth was recorded in the sector of production and distribution of electricity, gas and heat, in which 43 new companies accounted for 10 defunct companies. The information and communication sector is also doing well technology with 38 new companies to 10 defunct ones. We are also recording positive news on the market, to which the participants of the Czech Leaders Award also contribute,” describes Pavel Finger.
You can read the entire press release HERE
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