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Last Call For Entrepreneurs To Enter Britain's Start-up Awards

13th April 2009

Photograph of Last Call For Entrepreneurs To Enter Britain's Start-up Awards

With just over a week to go until close of entries, HSBC Bank is making a last call to all new companies to enter this year's Start-Up Stars Awards - an annual search for the UK's most promising start-up businesses less than three years old and the inspirational entrepreneurs behind them.

The HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards culminates with a glittering black-tie event at London's InterContinental on November 23, where the UK's top new businesses will hope to be crowned 'Start-Up Star 2009' and to walk away with a cheque for 25,000, courtesy of HSBC.

Head of Business Banking for HSBC, Huw Morgan, added: "HSBC continues to see start-up entrepreneurial success despite the current tough economic climate.

"This year HSBC are helping more than 2,000 new businesses get started every week and we're confident that this could be one of the most exciting years for start-up firms.

"We know Scotland has some truly inspiring start-up stories. Now we want local entrepreneurs to step forward and prove that with the right help and support, there are
still opportunities out there for people with the dedication and will to succeed."

There will also be 10,000 cheques for the best new Green business putting the environment at the top of its agenda, the best new business set up by a Graduate, and
the best new business achieving Export Success.

Start-Up Stars supporter, Google, will be offering more than 40,000 worth of free services, to be split between the 10 National Finalists and each of the category
Winners. And every entrant will also receive a Google voucher worth 75.

Helping launch the 2009 Start-Up Stars this week, Secretary of State for Business, Lord Mandelson said: "I am pleased to support the HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards. Small Businesses are vital to our economy and their creation, growth and survival is central to the economic challenges the UK faces. The promotion and development of small businesses and the people they employ, is at the heart of the Government's economic strategy.

"My thanks to HSBC, the Daily Express and Sky News for continuing to develop these Awards for 2009. Prestigious Awards such as these make an important contribution to
allowing people to make the most of their talent and fulfill their potential."

Entrepreneurs running a business less than three years old can enter the 2009 HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards at www.startupstars.hsbc.co.uk
www.startupstars.hsbc.co.uk

All entrants will have access to HSBC's online Business Network support programme, which includes top tips from leading entrepreneurs on how to cope with the downturn.
Also included is a series of webinars and blogs to provide valuable networking opportunities for budding start-up companies keen to attract new business.

Specialist Business Partner, Start Your Business, will also be offering all entrants a free copy of their magazine plus a year's free subscription to each of the category winners.

Other supporters are the NCGE (National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship), The British Library, Sky News and the Daily Express.

If you're one of the growing number of men and women in Britain who have said yes to an independent future and discovered the best boss to work for is yourself - the organisers want to hear from you.

Entry forms are available online at www.startupstars.hsbc.co.uk
For further enquiries, please contact the Start-Up Stars office on 0800 085
3411. Closing date for entries is 24 April 2009.

HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards
The HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards, presented in association with the Daily Express and Sky News, invites entries from UK businesses that have been trading for less than three
years and can demonstrate they have the management skills and ideas for success.


The 2009 HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards will take place at London's InterContinental on Monday 23 November.

HSBC Start-Up Stars 2009 Judging Panel
This year's judging panel includes:
Huw Morgan, Head of Business Banking, HSBC;
Derek Browne, Chief Executive, Entrepreneurs in Action;
Peter Hoskins, Senior Business Producer, Sky News;
Dr. Glenda Stone, CEO, Aurora; Maisha Frost, Business Journalist, Daily Express;
Dan Cobley, UK and Benelux Marketing Director,Google UK;
Claire Owen, Leader of Vision & Values, The SG Group;
Karen Darby, founder, Call Britannia; Martha Lane Fox, Entrepreneur.

Joining the International Panel;
Lord Digby Jones, Chairman, International Business Advisory Board.
Joining the Green Panel;
Andy Togher, Director, Business Relations, The Carbon Trust.
Joining the Graduate Panel;
Lorna Collins, Director, Flying Start.

HSBC Bank plc
HSBC Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc which is headquartered in the UK. The HSBC Group serves over 128 million customers worldwide and has
around 10,000 offices in 83 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. HSBC is marketed worldwide as 'the
world's local bank'.

For information on how to get a business off the ground, would-be entrepreneurs can go to HSBC's Knowledge Centre at www.knowledge.hsbc.co.uk or they can obtain a copy of HSBC's free Starting a Business pack by calling 0800 328 4912 or visiting an HSBC branch.

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