Bedfordshire businesses invited to ‘Reach for the Stars’

THERE are so many worthy reasons to enter the Rising Stars awards launched today, writes business editor David Tooley.

Now in their 19th year the Bedfordshire and Luton Rising Stars Business Excellence Awards offer an unrivalled opportunity for leading edge employers and individuals to win publicity for their achievements.

Organiser Premier Newspapers, publishes community focused websites and a network of free and paid-for papers, including the Luton News, Dunstable Gazette and the Herald & Post. Winners and sponsors will be featured in Premier’s publications, read by tens of thousands of people in Bedfordshire every week.

Headline sponsor Barclays is continuing an association it started at last year’s Rising Stars

Martin Bonner, regional business director, for Business Banking at Barclays said it was an important time for businesses to reach for the stars.

Mr Bonner said: “All business people have dreams and the companies in Bedfordshire and Luton are no different.

“And despite the economic news from home and abroad, we know business people in Bedfordshire and Luton are working hard every day creating wealth and employment because they believe in their business and want to make it a success for everyone.

“That’s why it’s so important that they reach for the stars and enter the awards to receive their moment in the limelight and we all get to hear those success stories and celebrate with you”.

The awards night in November will have a new venue. After many years at the Park Inn Hotel, Bedford, Rising Stars is moving to the Bedford Corn Exchange.

Charles Little, director of accountancy firm and customer service award sponsor Keens Shay Keens, said last year’s awards night was “the best that has ever taken place”.

Mr Little said: “It’s amazing how the time passes so quickly. It seems like only last month when Professor Ebdon was collecting his lifetime award!

“The new team have a real challenge to match the success of the 2011 awards evening which in my opinion was the best that has ever taken place.

“I am pleased to be asked to play a leading role in the 2012 awards event and so hope others will be inclined to do so, it is so worthwhile.”

Dr Sonal Minocha, Dean of University of Bedfordshire’s Business School, sponsoring the training and development award, said: “The Bedfordshire and Luton Rising Stars awards are unique in they not only recognise achievement but also potential in individuals and organisations that will shape futures.

“We are proud to be associated with the awards for 2012. The University prides itself in shaping transformational journeys and experiences for our staff, students and clients.

“In particular the University’s Business School is embarking on an exciting new phase –developing creative thinkers who change realities and shape new futures. Our association with the Rising Stars awards is a step in this direction in order to recognise individuals and businesses who have new dreams but also the grit and passion to shape new realities.”

Nisa Local, in Houghton Regis and Toddington, is sponsoring the Community Investment Award. Kishor Patel said: “Businesses like Nisa Local are at the heart of their communities, providing services and employment for local people. Those communities support us as their customers and we recognise the value of putting things back. Our Make A Difference Locally campaign has raised thousands of pounds for local activities and over £3m nationally for the groups. Nisa Local is proud to sponsor the Community Investment Award which will highlight those businesses, like us, who are the stars of their communities.”

> Visit for a list of all the awards categories and contact details.