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The Awards has 16 categories including Franchisee of the Year, Innovative Business of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Women in Business Award and Best Use of Technology. Winners of each category will then compete to be named the Startups Business of the Year and collect a grand prize of £5,000.

Businesses that are looking to enter must have been trading for less than three years, be privately owned and employ less than 60 people. The closing date for entries is 6th July 2008 and finalists will be announced on 15th August.

David Lester, small business expert and founder of, said: 'When starting a new business it can be lonely and extremely difficult to gain the recognition that you deserve and need in order to gain client and customer loyalty. The Startups Awards are seeking to identify and recognise its fifth generation of inspirational new businesses, who have not only avoided failure, but flourished, in spite of the troubled economy.'


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