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Why it has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur

19:00 27 May 2014

EDP Business Awards 2013. Pictured: Future50 One to Watch - Eco Classrooms 
Lucy McKay, Mark Camidge, Kevin Horne. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

EDP Business Awards 2013. Pictured: Future50 One to Watch - Eco Classrooms Lucy McKay, Mark Camidge, Kevin Horne. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

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There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.

Policymakers across the political spectrum pay homage to the get-up-and-go spirt of start-up businesses convinced that they hold the key to growth.

In his speech to close the Conservative Party conference last year, David Cameron hailed the work entrepreneurs do for the economy, and praised businesses for creating jobs.

“To all those people who strike out on their own, who sit there night after night, checking and double checking whether the numbers stack up, I say I have so much respect for you – you are national heroes,” he said at the time.

“Profit, wealth creation, tax cuts, enterprise, these are not dirty, elitist words – they’re not the problem, they really are the solution, because it’s not government that creates jobs, it’s businesses.”

The facts speak for themselves.

The East of England has the largest number of private sector businesses in England (505,405 in 2013) outside of London and the South East.

There were 47,500 business start-ups in the East of England in 2012, compared to 46,500 in 2010 – making the East the only other region in England apart from London and the South East to show an increase.

Meanwhile, nearly £2.5m of start-up loans have been distributed in the region, and 4,190 National Enterprise Allowance claimants have started work alongside a business mentor.

It is that contribution to the Norfolk economy which is being celebrated in the EDP Business Awards One-to-Watch category.

The winning entry will be selected from the EDP Future50 family, and last year’s winner, eco-classrooms, impressed judges with the way the business had successfully adapted its environmentally sustainable mobile classroom products to suit other markets including the NHS.

Kevin Horne, chief executive of Nwes, said: “The far reaching benefits of a thriving start-up and entrepreneurial community cannot be understated. Norfolk’s economy needs new and young businesses so it can grow and be self-sustainable. Nwes ensures we don’t stagnate; not only by supporting existing businesses to innovate, but also by encouraging enterprise and new business ventures.

“By supporting the ‘One-to-Watch’ category at the EDP Business Awards we are celebrating the role start-ups play in cementing a healthy future for Norfolk’s economy. These businesses are our future and our legacy; we should all be proud and supportive of them.”

<t> Find out details of all the EDP Business Awards categories at www.edpbusinessawards.co.uk

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