Shameless plugs aren’t usually our thing but we feel that an exception can be made when it comes to Smarta 100, the awards that recognise our nation’s brightest small businesses. Needless to say, it is that time of your again and we are urging all of our best start-ups to throw their names into the hat before it’s too late – the deadline of Sunday September 1 is just over a week away.
The 2013 judging panel is comprised of many an entrepreneurial spark and business bod, including new Dragon and Outsourcery founder Piers Linney, as well as Holly Tucker MBE, founder of notonthehighstreet.com. To give you an idea of the kind of forward-thinking enterprises that have won the prestigious Smarta 100 award in recent years, the following almost speak for themselves: Naked Wines, Kigu, Huddle, Funding Circle, Graze, Zoopla, Crowdcube and SuperJam.
What’s on offer then, other than the recognition of one’s business peers, you may ask? Well, the overall small business of the year will receive a not-to-be-sniffed at £10,000 with £1,000 going to winners in each of the following ten categories:
- Mobile Business of the Year
- Start-up of the Year
- Female Entrepreneur of the Year
- Made in Britain
- Biggest Social Impact
- Best People Business
- Best Use of Technology
- Most Innovative Business
- Best Use of Marketing
- Micro Business of the Year
Needless to say, the companies mentioned above have gone onto much bigger things after being named as a Smarta 100 together with O2 winner, achieving impressive growth and attracting life-changing investment .
“Small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them underpin the entire economy and they account for almost 50% of UK employment,” said Piers Linney. “I look forward to working with the Smarta 100 and O2 to identify small businesses that are shining brightly.”
We don’t think there’s much more to be said other than to get yourself registered at www.smarta.com/smarta100 by next Sunday. It could be the break your start-up needs to hit the big time.