Smarta, together with O2, have last week announced the launch of the 2012 Smarta 100, a celebration of the most exciting and disruptive small businesses in the UK.
Boasting a £10,000 cash prize for the overall winner, the awards are a pulse-check of the 100 most innovative and disruptive businesses and an opportunity to reward those companies that are on track to be the fast-growth superstars of the future.
This year, the Smarta 100 winners will be decided by an all-star line-up of judges comprising some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs including Theo Paphitis from Ryman and star of Dragons’ Den; Rowan Gormley, founder of Naked Wines and winner of the Smarta 100 in 2011; Mike Soutar, founder of Shortlist and Stylist magazines; Thea Green MBE, founder of Nails Inc; and several other big hitters.
Businesses from across the UK are invited to apply online at www.smarta.com/100. The closing date for applications is September 1st.
The judging panel will then select the Smarta 100 to be announced on October 1st. The overall winner will then be voted for by the public and announced at the awards ceremony on November 6th at Proud 2 at the O2.
Alongside the first prize award for the Smarta 100 Business of the Year, there are six special awards. Winners will each receive a prize worth £1,000:
Announcing the launch of this year’s Smarta 100, the chairman of judges, Theo Paphitis commented:
“I’m delighted to be joining the Smarta 100 search for this year’s most exciting small businesses. I admire people with the passion and energy to build their own businesses and can’t wait to discover the enterprising, game-changing big businesses of tomorrow that I know are out there.”
Shaa Wasmund, founder and chief executive of Smarta, added:
“We launch the third Smarta 100 together with O2 with genuine excitement at what amazing small businesses we’ll be presenting awards to come November. If you’re running a small business that stands out from the crowd, that grows fans and followers as well as just customers, and you feel is worthy of national recognition, we want to hear from you.”
Last year’s winners included crowd-sourced design firm Concept Cupboard, the world’s first designer energy-saving light bulb Plumen and members-only boutique hotel provider Secret Escapes.
As part of the Smarta 100 Awards 2012, O2 and Smarta have teamed up to deliver a programme of Academy events to encourage more people to start their own business and get to Smarta 100 status. Offering five exclusive free-to-attend events, addressing key businesses issues, the Smarta 100 Academy will host a learning programme packed with practical advice, lessons and real life case studies delivered by experienced experts in their field, seasoned entrepreneurs and business owners who've been through the Smarta 100 Awards process.
Small business can enter the Smarta 100 or nominate others at: www.smarta.com/100