Start-ups, Staff and Training

Startups Awards launched

The first ever Startups Awards has launched with the aim to find, celebrate and reward the best business startups.

The awards recognise achievement across 13 different categories, from ‘Retailer of the Year’ to ‘Micro Business of the Year’ through to the ‘Silver Fox Award’. There’s a category to suit every blossoming entrepreneur and their business.

The winners of each award will then compete to be named the Startups Awards Business the Year, collecting a £5,000 prize at the grand final lunch to be held at a top London hotel in October.

The Startups Awards has been launched by Crimson Publishing which already publishes Startups.co.uk, the UK’s largest website for people starting and running their own business.

Patricia Hewitt, secretary of state for the Department of Trade and Industry, welcomed the launch of the awards by urging small business owners to enter.

“We have some fabulous success stories in this country, of startups creating jobs, making new and exciting products and driving our economy. But too often we don’t celebrate the success of our best entrepreneurs as much as we should, which is why awards like these are so important.

“I wish all entrants the very best of luck both with the awards and with growing their businesses,” she said.

To be eligible to enter, businesses must have been trading for less than three years and employ less than 60 people.

retailer of the yearSkilled staff available at subsidised rates

London businesses can take advantage of the national STEP initiative, and take on a high-calibre undergraduate this summer to bring fresh ideas and skills to their business.

The Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (STEP) scheme runs all year round with the most common placement being eight weeks over July and August. In London the programme is delivered by Business Link for London.

STEP students can bring real benefits to the businesses that they are placed in – they frequently bring a mix of skills that their host employers do not have, as well as a fresh perspective and a desire to succeed.

STEP students are paid £175 per week, which already represents exceptional value for employers, who also have the additional bonus of not having to make National Insurance or PAYE contributions.

Shape the future of training in London

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is holding a forum – ‘Meeting the skills needs of small businesses’ – at Westminster Kingsway College in SW1 from 5pm to 7.30pm.

The LSC is responsible for ensuring that the skills of the people living in London meet the skills needs of business. They are looking for small businesses who have an interest in training and development to contribute to an energetic forum, where participants design the agenda, lead on the areas for discussion and then select what they consider to be the main priorities for LSC policy.

This is a chance for small businesses to shape short and long-term plans on how training and education for people living London will be provided and delivered in the future.

The guest speaker is Henry Stewart, the founder and Chief Executive of Happy (previously known as Happy Computers), a training company based in London. Although only employing 40 people, Happy has gained wide recognition for its innovative approach to management and to customer service.

The event will also provide excellent networking opportunities with like-minded business owners, and refreshments will be provided.

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