News release

Date: 20th February 2012

The Pitch 2012 launches search for UK’s 80 best small businesses

The Pitch, the UK’s biggest small business competition, has started 2012’s search for the UK’s top small companies to compete for a prestigious £50,000 prize package.

February 20th 2012 - Presented by and in association with Yell, the digital services provider for SMEs and consumers, The Pitch, now in its fifth year, has championed UK small businesses since 2008, helping hundreds of business owners drive their business forward.

Dan Martin, editor of, says: “We started The Pitch five years ago to give entrepreneurs a platform to gain expert advice and create interest in their businesses. Each year, The Pitch has grown both in the number of applicants and reach. We are building upon the success of The Pitch last year to make 2012 the biggest year ever by introducing The Pitch 80, a new social profile presence for the short listed businesses, and The Pitch Live. Yell has been a key partner supporting the growth of the competition since The Pitch’s inception in 2008, and I’m delighted to announce that Yell will continue its support again this year.”

The Pitch 2012 will host a series of judging days in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Before each judging day, local business owners will be able to attend a special event to meet the judges in person and gain valuable advice on how to pitch and build a successful business. A panel of experts will short list 20 from each country to create ‘The Pitch 80’, a list of the UK’s most exciting new businesses that will compete at the new two-day conference, The Pitch Live, in Liverpool during October.

Four winners will go through to The Pitch 2012 Grand Final on 16 November at one of London’s biggest nightclubs. Another 16 entrants will compete for a wildcard place which will be decided by the public. The wildcard winner will be the fifth finalist at the final and join the other four business owners pitching to win business support worth £50,000.

As well as the new two-day event, The Pitch 2012 sees the introduction of a new social profile presence for entrepreneurs to showcase their companies, rally support from audiences and encourage public votes. The business owner who generates the most buzz around their brand will be rewarded.

Richard Hanscott, chief executive officer for Yell in the UK, said: “The Pitch is a fantastic opportunity for any start-up to receive invaluable support and advice from business experts to help them succeed. At Yell we champion small businesses and help them grow and we are especially excited about the launch of The Pitch 80 this year to celebrate budding entrepreneurs and help them generate greater online exposure.”

Ross Dickinson, creator of Kibosh, an ingenious device which provides a temporary fix for burst pipes, was crowned overall champion of The Pitch in 2011. He says: “Being involved in The Pitch 2011 allowed me to make valuable connections with like-minded business people and being crowned the champion was amazing. The prizes have already made a big impact on my company. Yell has given me a fantastic digital marketing package to raise our profile; Studio Diva, one of the other companies which donated a prize, has put together some fantastic packaging for my product, and Karen Darby, the entrepreneur who is mentoring me as a result of my victory, has offered me brilliant business advice. I would highly recommend entering The Pitch 2012 to small business owners.”

You can find out more about the competition and submit entries by visiting Applications must be in by May with judging taking place over the summer. The Pitch grand final takes place in London on 16 November during Global Entrepreneurship Week.


Notes to editors

Follow The Pitch and BusinessZone on Twitter:
@the_pitch #thepitch12

The Pitch is a Sift Media event, in association with Yell.

About Sift Media
Sift Media is a leading business-to-business publisher specialising in online professional communities and face-to-face business events.
With a range of services including websites, email publications, industry awards and exhibitions, Sift Media delivers original, branded content to over half a million professionals every month, across small business, finance, accounting, HR and training, IT, marketing, customer management and knowledge management.

About ( is Sift Media’s online publication for entrepreneurs providing free, practical and no-nonsense advice on how to start and grow a successful business.

About Yell
Yell Group is a leading provider of digital services within the emerging local eMarketplace for consumers and SMEs across its operations in the UK, US, Spain and some countries in Latin America.
Building on its strong presence in the local market through its current digital and print portfolio, Yell is developing a broad range of digital services tailored to the converging needs of SMEs and consumers.
These address both the SMEs’ need to grow, transact and be efficient in the digital world, and the consumers’ need to connect locally to the goods and services they want, in a way which saves them time and money, and moves their lives forward.
In the year ended 31 March 2011, Yell Group had 1.3 million SME customers.
Twitter: @YellPressOffice @YellBusiness

For more information, please contact:
Rita Andrews,
Head of Events, Sift Media
Email: rita.andrews[at]siftmedia[dot]

Close This Window