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Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham has launched the first Dot London Awards, celebrating London’s diverse small business sector.

Dot London has teamed up with the newest addition to BBC’s ‘Dragons’ Den’, entrepreneur Sarah Willingham, to launch the Dot London Small Business Awards 2015 which aim to celebrate the success of London’s thriving small business sector. 

Willingham will be leading a judging panel made up of some of London’s most established brands, including health-led fast-food chain, LEON; folding bicycles pioneers, Brompton Bikes; online designer furniture retailers, Made.com; craft beer brewers, Meantime Brewery; and fashion and gift retailer, Oliver Bonas.  

There will also be a representative from global tech giants Google; the capital’s official city guide, VisitLondon.com; leading charity organisation, the London Community Foundation; social media experts, Be Social Global; and former BBC Apprentice finalist and CEO of grocery shopping app, Whisk.com, Nick Holzherr.

Speaking at the launch, Sarah said:  “London is a city full of opportunities for entrepreneurs keen to try their hand at starting and running their own businesses. The city is buzzing with new ideas and investors who want to support the next big thing, so the Dot London Small Business Awards are a great opportunity for us to pay homage to the capital’s successful business start-ups.”

The Dot London Small Business Awards is open for entries today, to mark Dot London’s first anniversary, and will include 13 categories spanning the diverse industries that make up London’s business infrastructure, including hospitality, retail, creative services, social enterprises and start-ups. From ‘Best Place to Eat’ to ‘Young Entrepreneur of 2015’, the awards will acknowledge the success of London’s small businesses and highlight their contribution to the capital’s reputation as a global destination for tourism, entertainment and commerce. 

The Dot London Small Business Awards are free to enter for any London-based business, organisation or individual with 1–50 employees that has actively traded sometime between April 2014 and September 2015 and has a registered address in one of London’s 32 boroughs. The shortlist will be announced in November, when the awards will be opened for a public vote, which will run until the end of December. The awards ceremony will take place in central London in January 2016. Award winners will receive a cash prize, one-to-one mentorship on how to improve their online business presence and a free Dot London domain name for a year, subject to availability.


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Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham launches Dot London Awards
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