Headlines: April 21st, 2006

Local authorities are being urged to nominate towns or cities in their areas that could be the most enterprising place in the country. The Small Business Service is reminding councils that there are only weeks left to contact their Regional Development Agency about nominations for the regional heats of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Enterprising Britain awards.The competition was launched in January to find the country’s most enterprising hotspot, the place that has created jobs, brought communities together, and made a real difference to local businesses and local people. Winning regional entries will go forward to the national finals and the overall winner will represent the UK against the most enterprising places from across Europe.

The awards are open to towns, cities and communities as well as public-private partnerships, educational programmes, and business organisations. Nominees must demonstrate how they have brought about a step change in the approach to supporting and promoting enterprise over the last three years. The competition is run by the Department for Trade and Industry’s Small Business Service, with the Regional Development Agencies and the devolved administrations. Many of the entries in 2005 came from local authorities that were keen to promote entrepreneurial activity in their areas and the SBS is advising councils to get in touch with their relevant RDA before it’s too late for this year’s competition.

Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Industry said enterprise and innovation were the key to future economic growth and it was only by creating a “can do” attitude in society Britain could compete with the levels of entrepreneurship seen in the USA.

“The Enterprising Britain competition is a great opportunity to celebrate some of the enterprise success stories that not only change the lives of those individuals directly involved, but also those of the wider community. Hopefully this will inspire many more people to take the plunge and turn their ideas into successful business ventures,” he said.

More information about Enterprising Britain 2006 can be found at www.sbs.gov.uk/enterprisingbritain.