This week saw the eagerly awaited launch of the 2013 Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards. Open to businesses, social enterprises and individuals, they will celebrate their inspirational actions and outstanding achievements and the awards will culminate in a gala dinner on 16th May 2013.

On Tuesday, 70 businesses attended the official launch at Hanbury Manor and were joined by past winners, finalists and sponsors.

Sarah Smits, from Ashbourne Insurance won 'Entrepreneur of the Year' in 2012 and gave an excellent presentation on how entering the awards contributed to her business and Neil Kirby from The Red Rubber Ball Company, finalist in the 'Most Promising New Business' and 'Excellence in People Development' categories, explained how easy the entering process was and that with the number of entries that were submitted, to make the finalist stages of the awards was a real achievement.

All of the award categories, along with downloading links are listed below. Companies can enter as many awards as they wish and the closing date for entries is Friday 8th March.

To be kept updated on news about the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards, follow

Entrepreneur of the Year Sponsored by University of Hertfordshire

Community Champion 

Innovation through Technology Sponsored by ServerChoice

Business of the Year Sponsored by Exemplas

Most Promising New Business Sponsored by Smartsource GB

Excellence in People Development Sponsored by North Herts College

The Environmental Award Sponsored by Breeze and Wyles

Social Enterprise of the Year Sponsored by Cllr Sharon Taylor's Locality Budget and Stevenage Borough Council

Excellence in Customer Service Sponsored by Ashridge

Achievement in International Business 

The Tourism Award Sponsored by Dacorum Look No Further

The winner of the Business of the Year will also receive £7500 worth of Marketing & PR support from KISS Communications.