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News Release

EMBARGOED: Wednesday 13th October, 3.15pm


                              Local twenty three year old wins national award
                 handbag.com reveals category winner of 2004 Business Plan Awards

Becki Train (23) from Preston, Lancashire, has won Best Overall Start-up Business Plan
from a Woman under 25 in the 2004 handbag.com Barclays Business Plan Awards. Nigel
Griffiths MP, Minister for Small Business Enterprise presented Becki with her award at an
awards ceremony in London. Her prize, worth £3,150, includes £1,000 worth of advertising
in Thomson Local directories, Business Link training/advice support and House of Fraser
shopping vouchers.


Becki‟s business plan for Events Northern, an event management company producing
conferences and events across Northern England, evolved when she saw a gap in the
marketplace for a business offering a complete management service, which focused on
events for the local community and health sectors.


Events Northern has been in business since June 2004. “To win this award is a great
achievement for me,” Becki said. “Starting my own business has been hard work and to
receive this type of recognition is wonderful. It gives me much needed support for my first
year of business.”


The handbag.com Barclays Business Plan Awards aims to encourage more women into
business offering them a platform to launch their business idea and guide them through the
business plan process.




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Barclays Bank PLC authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
Barclays Bank PLC represents only the Legal and General Marketing Group of companies for life assurance, pensions and unit trusts
Registered in England. Registered No: 10226167. Registered Office: 54 Lombard Street, London, EC3P 3AH
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Sponsored by Barclays, with prize donations from organisations such as Thomson Local
directories, the Awards attracted entries from a wide variety of businesses - kids safety
clothing to juice bars, and an ethical fashion label to an events company - representing the
breadth of business ideas UK women are currently developing.


Commenting on the awards, Alicen Stenner, Brand Director of handbag.com said, “The
quality and number of business plan entries to our awards was truly inspirational and shows
the impact women are making and set to make in the UK business market.


“Becki Train‟s business plan for Events Northern demonstrated passion and dedication.
Starting a business at such a young age is no easy feat and we are pleased she has
received this recognition for her entrepreneurial skill.”


Louise Fowler, Marketing Director of Barclays Small Business Banking and panel judge,
added: “Female entrepreneurs are making a major impact in the UK, contributing to wealth,
and job creation and this is demonstrated by Becki‟s business. We are looking forward to
supporting her using our expertise to help her grow and carve out a niche in the market and
capitalize on the potential of her business.”


This year‟s judges included representatives from handbag.com, Barclays, and Business
Link, as well as Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic, Nicola Gewirtz – founder of
Lola Rose, and George Derbyshire, CEO of the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies.




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Barclays Bank PLC authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
Barclays Bank PLC represents only the Legal and General Marketing Group of companies for life assurance, pensions and unit trusts
Registered in England. Registered No: 10226167. Registered Office: 54 Lombard Street, London, EC3P 3AH
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Winners in the handbag.com Barclays BPA Awards are:
     Cheryl Cullen, Kitten Kit – Overall National Winner and Award for Most Innovative New
      Business Idea
     Alison Holland, Safe Kids Walking – Award for Outstanding Contribution to the
      Community
     Becki Train, Events Northern - Award For Best Overall Start-up Business Plan From A
      Woman Aged 25 Or Under
     Nabisah Ibrahim Owadh, Training Centre targeting those with English as a second
      language - Award For Entrant Who Has Most Successfully Overcome Adversity

                                                                                ends-

For further press information please contact:
Francesca Evans/ Gail Dibble
Starfish Communications
Tel: 020 7323 2121     email: evans@star-fish.net
NOTES TO EDITOR:
About the Awards
  The annual Awards, which aim to support women who have a good business idea or who are in the early stages of the
   business, was set up in 2003 by handbag.com, the UK‟s leading online women‟s magazine.
  Such was the success of last year‟s competition over a hundred women have entered this year‟s Awards. The winner
   in 2003 was Dyana Browne who launched a residential care training business off the back of handbag‟s award
   initiative. This year‟s entries included business plans to open a restaurant, set up a children‟s toy business and
   manufacture children‟s safety clothing.
  Entrants to this years awards were able to access entry forms on the handbag.com website and Barclays distributed
   40,000 leaflets through their countrywide branch network and via their Start-Right Seminar programme***.

Categories in the 2004 handbag.com Barclays Business Plan Awards are:
     Award for best overall start-up business plan
     Award for most innovative new business idea
     Award for entrant who has most successfully overcome adversity
     Award for Outstanding contribution to the community
     Award for best overall start-up business plan from a woman aged 25 and under

The handbag.com Barclays Business Plan Award Panel judging panel is:
   Jane Smith, handbag.com‟s Careers Expert
   Louise Fowler, Barclays Small Business Banking Marketing Director;
   Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic
   Nicola Gewirtz, founder of Lola Rose
   Bernie Emery, Business Adviser for Business Link
   George Debyshire, CEO of the National Federation of Enterprise Agencie


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Barclays Bank PLC authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
Barclays Bank PLC represents only the Legal and General Marketing Group of companies for life assurance, pensions and unit trusts
Registered in England. Registered No: 10226167. Registered Office: 54 Lombard Street, London, EC3P 3AH
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About Barclays
Barclays provides banking services to over 500,000 small businesses in the UK. As part of our ongoing commitment to
encourage people to set up their own business we provide the following tools:-
   Free seminars which seek to provide practical advice on business planning, bookkeeping and how to obtain finance –
    the key issues people face when starting up a business, according to previous attendees. Run in conjunction with the
                                                                              th                  th
    National Federation of Enterprise Agencies, these seminars run from 6 September until 12 November.
   Barclays also offers customers free access to a panel of experts to advise on marketing, accountancy and legal matters
    to ensure that all aspects of setting up in business are considered as part of our package for start-ups.
   Free guides – Make The Most Of Running Your Business and Make The Most Of Your Business Status.
   „Business Manager‟ a software and service package created through Clearlybusiness the Small Business arm of
    Barclays, to provide all the information, tools, advice needed to start up and run a successful business.
   Barclays small business managers undertake a training course labeled “Understanding Small Business” endorsed by
    the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI – www.sfedi.co.uk). Barclays is the only bank to receive this
    endorsement.


About handbag.com
handbag.com talks to women in a place, and in a way, and at a time when other people can‟t. Set up in 1999,
handbag.com was the first women's web site to launch in the UK and is currently the leading women‟s lifestyle site.
handbag.com has quickly become the market leader, achieving within two years, 44% reach among Internet-using women
(BMRB), nine times higher than any competitor site.
   handbag has 876,031 unique users January 2004
   handbag.com has had over 1,509,000 women reading it TGI Feb 2002
   handbag.com was in the top 10 most recognised internet brand, according to Ocean Consulting's third annual Media
    Brands study
   handbag.com‟s traffic has increased to over 24 million page impressions per month

For more information on please visit www.handbag.com
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About Thomson Directories
Thomson Directories began operating in 1980 and quickly established itself as the leading local directory publisher in the
UK. Today, Thomson Directories produces 173 editions of the Thomson Local, distributing 22 million copies throughout the
UK. All this information, and more, is available and easily searchable on ThomsonLocal.com. Each week Thomson Local
directories are used by six million people and generate 15 million business referrals.
Thomson Directories also produces a variety of other online and new media products and services for businesses, these
include:
     WebFinder.com, a search engine marketing service that promotes businesses‟ websites on some of the top UK search
      engines, including Wanadoo, Ask Jeeves & Streetmap, driving targeted sales leads from as little as 10p.
     Business Search PRO, a database of two million UK businesses, available online or on CD-ROM, to search and build
      direct mail and telesales lists.
     New Connections, a monthly subscription service providing sales leads on companies who are new, relocated, or have
      a new branch or owner.
     Fastest Growing Companies, a unique sales lead service of growing companies based on turnover, compiled by
      matching financial data from Companies House with the Thomson Database of verified trading businesses.
     Email Marketing Solutions for Business – with over 280,000 opt-in B2B email addresses, this service offers immediate,
      cost-effective, one-to-one communication with highly visible tracking of results.
     The Thomson Database, one of the UK‟s largest business databases with over two million business listings, sourced
      directly from the major telecommunications providers with additional information added by Thomson Directories. This
      can be utilised under licence by organisations to offer additional products and services.




Barclays Bank PLC authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
Barclays Bank PLC represents only the Legal and General Marketing Group of companies for life assurance, pensions and unit trusts
Registered in England. Registered No: 10226167. Registered Office: 54 Lombard Street, London, EC3P 3AH

				
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