LEADING entrepreneurs have been urged to put themselves forward for some of Scotland’s most prestigious business awards.

Entrepreneurial Scotland has issued a call for entries for its 2017 awards, which will recognise individuals who have excelled in entrepreneurial leadership in the last 12 months.

It gives the current crop of Scottish-based entrepreneurs to follow in the footsteps of such business luminaries as Jim McColl, Sir Tom Hunter, Anne Budge and Simon Howie. Last year’s winners were Balmoral Group chairman and managing director James Milner, the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year, and Spark Energy boss Chris Gauld (Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year).

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There are two awards to go for this year, the entrepreneur of the year prize sponsored by Deloitte, and a new category of Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year, backed by Barclays. The latter will recognise the achievements of leaders building an organisation of scale or an enterprise with outstanding potential.

Entries are being sought from any industry sector by Wednesday (August 16) and successful nominees will be assessed by industry experts. Company visits will be carried out as part of the judging process.

The Herald is the media partner of the awards, now in their 21st year, with the winners announced at Entrepreneurial Scotland’s celebration dinner at event space SWG3 in Glasgow on St Andrew’s Day (November 30).

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, said: “Since nominations opened last month we have had some inspirational entries that show the incredible entrepreneurial businesses that are thriving in Scotland right now.”