The Pitch 2012 is looking for UK’s 80 best small businesses

The Pitch, the biggest competition for small businesses in the UK, has started it’s search in 2012 for the top small companies in the UK to compete for a prestigious prize package worth £50,000.

Presented by BusinessZone.co.uk in association with Yell, the digital service provider for SMEs and their consumers,

The Pitch is now in its fifth year, and has been championing small businesses in the UK since 2008, and has helped hundreds of business owners to drive their business forward. Dan Martin is the editor of BusinessZone.co.uk, and he says that they started The Pitch 5 years ago to give entrepreneurs a valuable platform from which to gain expert advice and also to create interest in their businesses.

He added that The Pitch has grown every year in both applicants and reach, and they were building on the success of The Pitch in 2011 to make this years the best ever with the introduction of Pitch 80, a new social profile presence for the short listed businesses, and also The Pitch Live.

Yell has been a key partner in supporting the competitions growth since the inception of The Pitch in 2008, and Mr Martin said he was delighted that Yell would continuing their support in 2012.

The Pitch 2012 will host a series of judging days in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Before each judging day, local business owners will be able to attend a special event to meet the judges in person and gain valuable advice on how to pitch and build a successful business. A panel of experts will short list 20 from each country to create ‘The Pitch 80’, a list of the UK’s most exciting new businesses that will compete at the new two-day conference, The Pitch Live, in Liverpool during October.

Four winners will go through to The Pitch 2012 Grand Final on 16 November at one of London’s biggest nightclubs. Another 16 entrants will compete for a wildcard place which will be decided by the public. The wildcard winner will be the fifth finalist at the final and join the other four business owners pitching to win business support worth £50,000.

As well as the new two-day event, The Pitch 2012 sees the introduction of a new social profile presence for entrepreneurs to showcase their companies, rally support from audiences and encourage public votes. The business owner who generates the most buzz around their brand will be rewarded.

Richard Hanscott, chief executive officer for Yell in the UK, said: “The Pitch is a fantastic opportunity for any start-up to receive invaluable support and advice from business experts to help them succeed. At Yell we champion small businesses and help them grow and we are especially excited about the launch of The Pitch 80 this year to celebrate budding entrepreneurs and help them generate greater online exposure.”

Ross Dickinson, creator of Kibosh, an ingenious device which provides a temporary fix for burst pipes, was crowned overall champion of The Pitch in 2011. He says: “Being involved in The Pitch 2011 allowed me to make valuable connections with like-minded business people and being crowned the champion was amazing.

The prizes have already made a big impact on my company. Yell has given me a fantastic digital marketing package to raise our profile; Studio Diva, one of the other companies which donated a prize, has put together some fantastic packaging for my product, and Karen Darby, the entrepreneur who is mentoring me as a result of my victory, has offered me brilliant business advice. I would highly recommend entering The Pitch 2012 to small business owners.”

You can find out more about the competition and submit entries by visiting www.ThePitchUK.com Applications must be in by May with judging taking place over the summer. The Pitch grand final takes place in London on 16 November during Global Entrepreneurship Week.