The Nectar Small Business Awards are coming...

Awards season is coming around again and the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2011, now in their third year, will recognise the cream of British entrepreneurship; the best of UK businesses. Past winners include Shiply, Kiddivouchers, and Superjam.

Shiply founder Robert Matthams was bowled over by his win in 2009: "We are honoured and flattered by the accolade," he said. "It is great to receive an award such as this as it not only helps us recognise what we have achieved so far, but how much more we can offer in the future."

All UK-based small businesses, including social enterprises are welcome to enter and must demonstrate innovative and sustainable business ideas in one of the following five categories:

  • Small Business of the Year
  • Start Up Of The Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Contribution to the Community Award
  • Online Business of the Year

Applicants aren't just competing for kudos - there's prize money up for grabs too. The five winners will each receive £2,000 cash and 50,000 Nectar points, plus it's free to enter.

So who do you have to convince? As well as Karren Brady, this year's judging panel includes small business journalist Guy Clapperton, Nectar marketing director James Frost, and John O'Keeffe, merchandising and marketing director for the UK and Ireland at Office Depot.

Karren Brady says: "I'm honoured to be part of the judging team for the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2011 as they recognise hard working entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the UK who work tirelessly to make their businesses a success. Small businesses are the driving force behind the UK economy and too often their work goes unnoticed."

Hear hear!

The prize money will be a welcome cash-injection for any small business and Nectar points will come in extremely handy, as you can use your points for business essentials at Viking Direct, Dulux Decorator Centres, Philips, Argos or even save on travel with Expedia and the Eurostar as well as many others.

James Frost says: "Nectar Business' Small Business Awards 2011 will shine a spotlight on thriving small businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises. This is their opportunity to showcase how they've beaten the odds by working hard, identifying gaps in the marketplace and capitalising on imaginative, innovative ideas. Furthermore, we hope that the awards will continue to inspire more people to consider setting up their own business."

So what are you waiting for? Log on to to see full awards information and details of how to enter.

Closing date for applications: April 30.

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