Rise to the challenge!

THIS Friday – October 7 – is the deadline for entries to the Bedfordshire & Luton Rising Stars Business Excellence Awards.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 5th October 2011, 8:30 am

Ten category trophies are up for grabs in this the 18th year of the Premier Newspapers-organised celebration of business.

One of the categories, the search for Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Bedford College Training Services, is open to individuals undertaking an apprenticeship programme within an organisation in Bedfordshire or Luton, and can be entered by the individual themselves or by the organisation on their behalf.

Bedford College director Sharon Chinneck said: “The third party validation which comes from winning an award will encourage new clients to sign up with your organisation and reassure existing clients that they are in the right hands. We strongly urge organisations to use Rising Stars to help raise their profile in the Bedfordshire market place. Business is more competitive than ever, a short time investment in completing the entry could reap long-term rewards.”

The headline sponsor for this year’s Rising Stars is Barclays, which is also backing the search for Company of the Year.

Martin Bonner said: “Business people work hard and have great pride in their products, services and people. Which is why I want to encourage as many companies as possible to enter our Rising Stars Company of the Year category, so we can all celebrate the achievements you are making every day despite the current economic position.

“Rising Stars is all about what makes business people special. So think what it would be like to walk into the office or the shop floor and say that your business has won a Rising Stars award. Think what it would mean to your staff, customers and suppliers and how it would show people the hard work that goes into your business to make it a success.

“It only takes an entry and time is getting short so take that step forward, realise a dream and reach out for that star!”

Charles Little, a director of Luton, Bedford and Biggleswade chartered accountants Keens Shay Keens urged businesses to get their entries in on time.

Mr Little, whose company sponsors the Customer Care Excellence Award said: “Just from the phone calls I am receiving I know that there is a large number of businesses putting together their entries for the awards event – just as I am urging them, so I would say to readers please get your entries in on time!”

Bedford-based Mayfair Insurance & Mortgage Consultants is sponsoring the Small/Medium Sized business of the year award.

Mayfair’s Guy F Moliterno said: “It’s really important for people to send in their application as soon as possible and not to leave it until the deadline, October 7. The main reason is to allow the judges to come and visit the companies and meet with the applicants. The judging process is a lot more in depth than simply reading the applications.

“The Rising Stars Awards are great as it gives recognition to hardworking individuals in Bedford and also celebrates business in Bedford which sadly many people forget.”

Kevin Kavanagh, vice chairman of BedfordBID, sponsoring the Bedford Business Improvement District Award said: “Bedford is performing better than many other town centres in the country, and it is important to recognise the effort made by all those businesses that are making that happen.

“BedfordBID is funded by town centre organisations and the Rising Stars awards are an opportunity to thank all those people who help to make Bedford such a great place to work, visit, eat and relax - see much more on www.lovebedford.co.uk.”

The Rising Stars Bedfordshire and Luton Business Excellence Awards will be presented at a ceremony at Park Inn, Bedford, on November 10. The closing date for entries is October 7.

For details visit www2.lutontoday.co.uk/risingstars2011 Contact Rebecca on 01908 651263 with queries or to become a sponsor.