Outset Bristol, an organisation which offers free practical training to help people launch businesses, is supporting this year’s Evening Post Business Awards, where they will sponsor the New Business of the Year category. Nominations will be taken until the end of April for the sixth year of the ceremony, which will take place at Ashton Gate in summer. They can be made at www.thisisbristol.co.uk.

Andy Dean, programme director for Outset Bristol, said: “Starting a new business is a huge undertaking. Through our flexible, tailored programme of enterprise coaching and business start-up support we are helping individuals develop their skills and confidence to overcome the barriers into self-employment.

“At Outset Bristol we are particularly keen to raise awareness and aspiration amongst individuals who may have never even considered self-employment before.”

He added: “The New Business of the Year category of these important awards presents a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise and reward those individuals who have used sound business techniques to launch a successful and sustainable new business.”

Outset Bristol has helped its clients start 105 new businesses in Bristol to date, resulting in the creation of over 120 new jobs for the city. Their £960,000 business start-up support programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Bristol City Council, has already been accessed by more than 1000 people.

Other sponsors of the awards include Foot Anstey, Veale Wasbrough, First Great Western, Smith & Williamson, Viridor and a coalition of colleges from the Bristol area,

The chair of the judges planel will be Alan Renwick, publisher of Bristol News and Media. He said: “We at the Evening Post are proud to be able to recognise the achievements and successes of Bristol’s fantastic business community.”