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Enterprise Minister to Headline England Heat of Small Business Contest

Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk will be the keynote speaker at the English heat of The Pitch, a competition giving U

Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk will be the keynote speaker at the English heat of The Pitch, a competition giving UK entrepreneurs the chance to win a package of support worth £50,000

The minister will address an audience of small business owners at the event on 9 June at the London headquarters of NESTA.

The conference will also be the setting for the English heat of The Pitch, the competition organised by online community BusinessZone.co.uk in association with Yell which gives applicants the opportunity to pitch to experts. The overall champion will win £50,000 worth of business support.

Five English applicants will pitch to judges including social entrepreneur Karen Darby and star of Channel 4's The Secret Millionaire Carl Hopkins in front of the live audience.

After England, the competition travels to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for the remaining heats. The winners from each event as well as a wildcard finalist chosen by the public will pitch for a final time at the final in London in November. The event will coincide with the end of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Mark Prisk's involvement in the competition follows the endorsement of business secretary Vince Cable.

"Throughout this year and beyond, I will be focused relentlessly on supporting small businesses," Vince Cable says. "Backing new enterprises to start up and small firms to grow will deliver new jobs and transform our economy.

"It is great to see inspiring small businesses celebrated and rewarded, and I give my full support to The Pitch."

Notes to editors

The dates for The Pitch, heats are:

England - London

Venue: Nesta head office, 1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE

Date: 9 June

Wales - Cardiff

Date: 12 July

Scotland - Edinburgh

Date: 18 August

Northern Ireland - Belfast

Date: 21 September

Follow The Pitch and BusinessZone on Twitter:

@the_pitch

@businesszone

The Pitch is an initiative by Sift Media, in association with Yell.

About Sift Media

Sift Media is a leading business-to-business publisher specialising in online professional communities and face-to-face business events.

With a range of services including websites, email publications, industry awards and exhibitions, Sift Media delivers original, branded content to over half a million professionals every month, across small business, finance, accounting, HR and training, IT, marketing, customer management and knowledge management.

About BusinessZone.co.uk

BusinessZone.co.uk is Sift Media's online publication for entrepreneurs providing free, practical and no-nonsense advice on how to start and grow a successful business.

About Yell

Yell offers quality business leads and marketing solutions to small and medium sized enterprises in the UK, US, Spain and some countries in Latin America through an integrated portfolio of simple-to-use, cost effective advertising. Our products are available through printed, online, telephone and mobile based media. Yell's principal brands include: in the United Kingdom - Yellow Pages, Yell.com and 118 24 7; in the United States - Yellowbook and Yellowbook.com; and in Spain - PaginasAmarillas and PaginasAmarillas.es.

http://www.yellgroup.com

Contact:

Demelza Fryer-Saxby

Yell

demelza.fryer-saxby[at]yellgroup[dot]com

0118 358 2977

07834 893 174

www.yellgroup.com

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