BT competition offers food for thought

btperou.jpgSmarta’s pleased to see BT has launched its ‘Essence of the Entrepreneur’ for 2008 – a small business competition/award that actually does something different.Now in its third year, Essence of the Entrepreneur seeks out 20 emerging entrepreneurs who’ve used technology to make their mark and awards one overall winner with a £20,000 business grant.Very noble, but hardly original. The angle we like is that BT sends out a top photographer, previously Perou and this year Rankin, to the entrepreneur’s workplace to capture their ‘essence’ and then holds an exhibition at a top London gallery for the world and his dog to see.While Rankine needs no introducing, Perou has set the standard seriously high with some brilliantly creative snaps. Jenny Irvine of healthy, luxury readymade food service Pure Package can be seen above, but check out the others and find out how to enter at: www.bt.com/entrepreneurNo need to rush, you’ve got until August 31 before a panel including Dragon Peter Jones decides if you make the final cut. He certainly gets around our Peter, doesn’t he?One of last year’s finalists Kerrie Keeling of female building firm A Woman’s Touch reckons she got plenty of publicity from it: “The exposure my company has received as a result of the award has been phenomenal and has snowballed into some really major opportunities." Artist and garden designer Alice Bowe was another to benefit ending up featuring in a national TV campaign for BT.As free PR goes, that’s pretty impressive. Got to be worth a go, hasn’t it? Especially if you get to strut your stuff in front of Rankin!

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