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New awards designed to recognise excellence among individuals and organisations providing support to the UK’s entrepreneurs and small businesses have been launched by SFEDI (www.sfedi.co.uk), the small business watchdog and standards setting body.

The awards will showcase the individuals, organisations, products and services which have done most to help start ups, the self-employed and small business owners to survive and thrive during 2007. Small and home run businesses already make up 97% of the UK’s total business community. Categories include awards for professional advisers, such as accountants, through to volunteer business mentors. There is also an award for the business owner or entrepreneur who has done most to support other small and home business owners. The awards will be presented at an informal UK Enterprise Support Awards Lunch at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London, on Thursday 17 April 2008.

SFEDI aims to raise the quality of small business support and training by setting standards. It also accredits and endorses the people, products and programmes that meet these standards and are 'proven in practice' with prospective and existing small and home business owners. SFEDI is governed by an advisory board, which includes the key business membership and enterprise support bodies in the UK, including the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies, the Association for Chartered Certified Accountants and the International Association of Book-keepers.

SFEDI has developed the UK Enterprise Award Scheme in association with its partners and further details, including a nomination form, are available on its website www.sfedi.co.uk/uk-enterprise-awards.

Commenting on the launch of the UK Enterprise Support Awards, Tony Robinson OBE, small business owner and executive chairman of SFEDI, commented: “The UK needs a small business friendly and competent army of people to pass on the ‘know how’ to small business owners which will help them to survive and thrive.

“While there are already awards to recognise successful businesses, we believe it’s also important to recognise those individuals, organisations and services, whose excellence and inspiration has played a pivotal role in creating these business success stories.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

SFEDI is the UK standards setting body and endorsement body for prospective and existing small and home business owners and all those that support them. More details on SFEDI, its work and endorsement programme and logos can be found on www.sfedi.co.uk

SFEDI is currently seeking sponsors for the individual Enterprise Awards and for tables of ten seats at the Awards Lunch on 17 April 2008. Details are at www.sfedi.co.uk/uk-enterprise-awards.

For SFEDI media enquiries please contact:

Rebecca George - George PR - 01449 737281/07974 161108, email: rebecca@georgepr.com






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