Startups Awards 2005 launched

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The search for the UK's best new businesses is underway with the launch of the second annual Startups Awards, in conjunction with Startups.co.uk and Natwest.

Top entrepreneurs across the country are invited to enter the awards, following the stunning success of last year's inaugural event, in which GoinGreen was named Startups Business of the Year.

The awards, which are endorsed by the Department of Productivity, Energy and Industry (DPEI), comprise 13 categories, including Retailer of the Year, Manufacturing Business of the Year and Best Use of Technology. There's a Women in Business award and even a Silver Fox category for the more mature entrepreneur.

The winners of each category then compete to be named Startups Awards 2005 Business of the Year and collect the top prize of £5,000. Awards will be handed out in a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on 21 October 2005.

The judging panel for the awards will include Sahar Haschemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic, Forum of Private Business chief Nick Goulding and David Lester, founder of Crimson Business, publishers of Startups.co.uk.

The judges will be looking at a wide range of criteria, including sales, customer focus, strategic planning, barriers to success and social and community responsibility.

The awards are open to companies that have been trading for less than three years and employ under 60 people.

The deadline for entries is 11 July 2005.

Patricia Hewitt, former Trade and Industry Secretary, said: “Entrepreneurs are our wealth creators, the women and men who make our nation more successful and prosperous.

“They are the heroes of our economy and out future economic stability depends on creating a country where enterprise is truly open to all.

“Which is why awards like these are so important in allowing us to celebrate the success of our best startup businesses and the entrepreneurs behind the,. I wish all the entrants the very best of luck both with the awards and growing their businesses.”

Pete Ferns, director of Natwest Business Banking, the awards sponsor, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of out economy and account for half of all employment in the UK. Natwest is proud to sponsor the Startups Awards, which celebrate some of the UK's most inspirational entrepreneurs.”

For more information on the Startups Awards 2005 go to www.startupsawards.co.uk or call 020 8334 1638

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