AN AWARDS ceremony is giving Barnsley-based entrepreneurs the chance to follow in the footsteps of a young woman who brought one of the highly sought after awards back to Barnsley last year.

Showcasing and celebrating the achievements of new and aspiring entrepreneurs, the Sheffield City Region Launchpad Awards recognise the important role new businesses play in contributing to and shaping the local economy.

This year’s awards will recognise both pre-starts and businesses that have engaged with the Launchpad programme which is delivered in Barnsley by Enterprising Barnsley.

Categories include:

- aspiring entrepreneur

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- growth business

- inspiring achiever

- made in the Sheffield City region

- rising star

- start up business of the year

- young entrepreneur

Each winner will also be given the chance to be crowned as the overall 2019 Launchpad Champion, who will be chosen by those attending the special awards evening.

Last year, Abbie Allert, 27, of Wombwell, was awarded the title of young entrepreneur of the year, which recognised new entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Abbie founded her boutique baby and toddler clothing business Mamma Made it the year before after giving birth to her son and realising that many of the baby clothes found on the high street were unsuitable. Abbie, using what she knew from her fashion degree, turned to her sewing machine to build a new wardrobe. Her designs quickly caught the eye of other new mums and she soon started taking commissions for her designs from a local mother and toddler group she attended.

In just under a year, Abbie has seen her business stitch up a global customer base, securing orders for her range of children and baby clothing from across the UK, Germany and even America.

“The Launchpad Awards are a truly unique celebration of entrepreneurship and recognise some of the region’s most promising and talented new entrepreneurs who have taken the very first steps towards running their own business to growing businesses which have enjoyed success over the past three years,” said Launchpad programme manager Anna Smith.

“There are plenty of different opportunities to get involved with this year’s event.

“Since the Launchpad programme began in 2016 it has helped more than 5,000 would-be entrepreneurs take the first steps on their business journey and our awards event recognises the many hours of blood, sweat and tears that go into building and developing a business. The awards evening itself is far from the usual black tie affair, but offers a chance for new and aspiring business owners to come together, meet like-minded individuals and celebrate the amazing achievements of some truly inspiring individuals.”

The closing date for applications is Friday, with the awards ceremony taking place on Friday September 27. For more information and to apply, visit scrlaunchpad.co.uk/awards.