The UKs leading entrepreneurs join to find the 100 most exciting businesses

Founder of Ella’s Kitchen, Paul Lindley, Smarta founder, Shaa Wasmund, and O2’s Business Director, Ben Dowd, join some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs in the hunt for the next best businesses of tomorrow. Eamon Fitzgerald, Managing Director UK for Naked Wines, Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, and Lynne Franks, the PR genius behind London Fashion Week, also join the panel looking to uncover Britain’s brightest businesses.

Now in its fourth year, the O2 Smarta 100 Awards have always been devotedly unscientific. Instead of finding the 100 most profitable businesses, the O2 Smarta 100 will unearth and celebrate the businesses and entrepreneurs who are delighting customers, improving lives and bringing innovation to traditional industries.

With an alumni that includes Naked Wines, Huddle, Funding Circle, Graze, Zoopla, Crowdcube and SuperJam to name but a few of Britain’s hottest up and coming brands, the challenge is now on to find this year’s emerging businesses.

The 2014 100 winning companies will be divided into 10 categories (listed below) to ensure the awards represent a true cross-section of UK small business. The public will vote for the winner of each category, before the esteemed judging panel selects the overall winning ‘O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year’.

Ahead of the launch of this year’s awards, Al Gosling, founder of Extreme Group and member of the judging panel, said:
“Small businesses help to challenge the norm and upset the large corporate. Their innovation and disruptive approach helps push boundaries and make things happen in every field they operate. That’s why I’m thrilled to be part of the search for the 100 most exciting, disruptive and innovative small businesses in the UK.”

Smarta’s Shaa Wasmund added: “O2 Smarta 100 always has a special place in my diary from the launch to the awards ceremony. Each year the competition gets tougher so I can’t wait to see what’s on offer in 2014”

Ben Dowd, Business Director O2 UK, said: “O2 is passionate about helping UK small businesses and we are proud to sponsor the O2 Smarta 100 to recognise the most disruptive and innovative in 2014. Last year’s winner had a strong digital focus and I’m hoping to see more of the same this year. ”

The O2 Smarta 100 opens for entries on June 10th. Businesses have until September 1st to apply at: www.smarta.com/smarta100.

This year’s winning O2 Smarta 100 businesses will be announced October 1st.

The voting and judging stages will then commence to determine the category winners and overall O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year, to be announced at an awards ceremony, taking place in London in mid-November.

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