Calling all South West young entrepreneurs...

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:02 10 June 2010

A NATIONAL competition, which aims to unearth the next generation of young British entrepreneurs, is launching today for the fifth time and is calling for talented young people from the South West to enter.

A NATIONAL competition, which aims to unearth the next generation of young British entrepreneurs, is launching today for the fifth time and is calling for talented young people from the South West to enter.

Young entrepreneurs (aged 30 and under) are being encouraged to share how they have turned an original idea into reality. In return, the best entries will get to pitch to a panel of high profile judges and be in with the chance of claiming one of the five trophies and cash prizes up for grabs, as well as the online people's choice vote.

Supported by HM Treasury, Institute of Directors and The Daily Mail, Enterprising Young Brits has discovered some of Britain's brightest talent. Many young entrepreneurs report that the resulting publicity from being named as a finalist has propelled their business to the next level.

Jamie Murray Wells, from Wiltshire, won the Business category in 2005 with his business, GlassesDirect.co.uk. He now sells over 300 pairs of glasses a day and has a multi-million pound turnover. He comments: "Being announced as a winner in the Enterprising Young Brits awards really made a difference. It lends credibility to you as an entrepreneur and to your business and gives you the opportunity to meet people who can help take the company forward. I'd recommend the awards to any up-and-coming entrepreneur!"

Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors, comments: "Today's generation of young entrepreneurs will be the movers and shakers leading the business of tomorrow. Enterprising Young Brits is a showcase of the brightest and best young talent in the UK - and I'm delighted to offer my support to the 2008 competition."

The competition is run by the national Make Your Mark campaign, the coordinators of Enterprise Week which this year has gone global as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (17-23 November).

Scott Cain, Deputy Chief Executive of the Make Your Mark campaign, comments: "The ability to spot opportunities, overcome challenges and implement ideas is more important and urgent than ever in the current global economic climate. Enterprising Young Brits always unearths some fantastically inspiring stories of young people who are turning their ideas into reality. Some are focused on making a profit, others on benefitting their community - and in many cases doing both. I can't wait to find out who our finalists will be this time around."

There are five different categories for 2009's Enterprising Young Brits awards:

* Business Entrepreneur: For enterprising individuals who have started their own business, large or small

* Social & community: For ventures combining the principles of a successful business with an emphasis on the social and environmental benefits it can provide

* Teen: For anybody aged 13-19 who is making their idea happen

* Creative: For enterprising individuals, businesses and endeavours that show creative flair or that are based in the creative industries

* Going global: For businesses that are successfully operating in the UK and abroad

A shortlist of five finalists per category is drawn up, and they are invited to pitch 'Dragon's Den' style to a panel of judges, including representatives from HM Treasury, the Make Your Mark campaign and high profile entrepreneurs. They have to convince the panel, not just of the success of their business, but the whole package - the originality of their idea and their entrepreneurial flair in turning that idea into reality.

The eventual winners will take home £1,000 and a trophy, as well as being hailed as one of the country's most 'Enterprising Young Brits'.

The competition is a great opportunity for small businesses to gain national profile and to use their success as an inspiration for others. Previous winners have gone on to achieve huge business success.

Go to www.makeyourmark.org.uk/youngbrits to download an entry form. The deadline for entries is on the 27 February 2009.

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