Calling enterprise champions
This is Money
The search is on to find the UK’s enterprise champions, with the launch of the Enterprising Britain 2007 competition.
This year’s competition was launched by Industry and Regions Minister Margaret Hodge from West Kilbride, last year’s winner.
The competition, a key part of the Government’s drive to increase entrepreneurship in the UK, identifies areas of enterprise excellence that have created jobs, brought communities together, and made a real difference to local businesses and local people.
Margaret Hodge said: ‘There are cities, towns and communities throughout the country that have placed enterprise at their heart and helped make Britain a better place to live and work. Enterprising Britain is a great chance to celebrate this.
‘I encourage all those innovative projects out there that have used the spirit of enterprise to make a difference to people’s lives to enter this year’s competition and have a chance to be crowned the UK’s enterprise champion.’
The competition is open to towns, cities and communities as well as public-private partnerships between public authorities and entrepreneurs, educational programmes and business organisations.
The selected town, city or area must be able to demonstrate how it has affected a step change in its approach towards supporting and promoting enterprise over the past three years.
The national nominations are based on how the nominated place has demonstrated: that it has faced the challenges of promoting enterprise in their areas; that it has formed partnerships and policies to tackle those challenges; and, that its actions have had a positive impact in promoting enterprise.
Twelve regional winners will be selected in competitions run by Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations around the country over the next four months. In September a panel of expert judges will select a national winner from the regional finalists and the winner of Enterprising Britain 2007 will be announced. The overall UK winner will then represent the UK in the European Enterprise Awards at the end of the year.
National competition judge, Lynne Franks, entrepreneur and social enterprise ambassador said: ‘Having been involved with Enterprising Britain since it began in 2004, I have been thoroughly impressed with the innovative projects that have made a significant impact on the UK’s economy and have created a ‘can do’ attitude in society.
‘I’ll be looking for examples where enterprise has been key in regenerating a whole area, and has had a really positive impact on all aspects of the local community. I’m looking forward to seeing all the excellent examples out there.’
Enterprising Britain 2006 winner, West Kilbride, managed to overcome above average unemployment and a town centre blighted by empty and unkempt shops by using a specialised theme to revitalise and transform itself into a thriving community.
The regional heats for the competition will run until 31 May and projects can enter via their local Regional Development Agency, the Welsh Development Agency, Invest Northern Ireland or Scottish Enterprise.
The winner of Enterprising Britain 2007 will be entered into a Europe-wide competition – the European Enterprise Awards. See www.european-enterprise-awards.org