Is your company one of the elite?

Aim for the top by entering the `Independent 100' contest

o you have what it takes to prosper in the most competitive sector in British industry? Do you think you deserve to stand alongside such business successes as the Stagecoach transport company, the JD Wetherspoon pubs chain or the mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse?

If so, you could be in line for a starring role in the next edition of The Independent on Sunday's league table of Britain's fastest-growing private companies. Much imitated, but never bettered, it is now in its ninth year of operation - with a new sponsor and a valuable prize for the top-ranked business.

In the search for the high performers of the future which starts today, the The IoS has teamed up with KITE, a new business venture established by the accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward. And the first-placed company will get a year's free membership of a pioneering business forum.

BDO, which has long been a specialist adviser to entrepreneurial businesses, has launched KITE to give chief executives of such firms access to advice and support that would not otherwise be available to them.

KITE members are split into groups of up to 10 non-competing companies and then each group meets once a month under the aegis of a trained moderator in order to discuss business problems and business challenges.

The sessions include talks from experts of the group's choice, but the key focus is on the group discussions in which members provide each other with insights and lessons from their own varied experiences.

Similar self-help groups designed to provide ambitious chief executives with access to advice and support from their peers have been existence for some time. However, KITE is convinced that the presence of moderators - established independent business people specially trained to obtain the maximum benefit from the group sessions - sets the KITE groups apart.

Indeed, feedback from the early meetings has been so strong that it is clear that membership of this club could be a significant source of competitive advantage for the businesses involved. With new companies signing up all the time, a year's membership - worth pounds 8,400 - is clearly a highly desirable first prize for this year's KITE/Independent 100.

However, to be in with a chance of winning it, you have to be a very special organisation. Though all the companies that have featured in the previous eight listings have been household names, they have been world- class performers - creating thousands of jobs at a time when many of the country's best-known companies have been repeatedly shedding workers.

Moreover, their achievements have been a key factor in forcing politicians and others to re-evaluate their views of the British economy. It is in an effort to replicate their success that the Government is looking at various initiatives - including tax measures expected to be contained in next month's Budget - to boost the entrepreneurial environment.

Welcome as any assistance will no doubt be, the people operating in this highly-competitive sphere have repeatedly shown that they can thrive in the most difficult of conditions. Even when the recession of the early 1990s was at its fiercest, many Independent 100 companies were still seeing turnover growing at nearly 100 per cent each year.

To see if you can compete at such a level, you need to be running a privately-owned company that has been in existence for at least five years. Sales growth is judged over five years leading up to 31 December 1998 - and to ensure that only substantial businesses qualify, sales in the first of those five years must be at least pounds 250,000. Moreover, all companies entering must present audited accounts showing a profit in at least the last of those years.

For companies that have moved beyond the start-up phase, but are still growing rapidly, there is another contest - the Middle Market 50, which is open to businesses registering annual turnover of at least pounds 5m in the first year. In past years, many companies have featured in both listings.

RULES AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

1) Companies must be unquoted and based and incorporated in the UK. Companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) are not eligible. Venture capital backed companies are eligible.

2) Groups of companies may apply if total sales figures comply with (3) and (8) below, but entries from selected subsidies are not eligible.

3) Companies must be able to submit audited sales of a minimum of pounds 500,000 for their financial year which ended during the 12 months to 30 June 1994, and for the Middle Market 50 a minimum of pounds 5m for their financial year which ended during the 12 months to 30 June 1994.

4) The most recent financial year end that will be considered is 30 June 1998.

5) The accounts relating to the most recent period of trading as defined in (4) above must show a pre-tax profit. Profit details will not be published or disclosed to third parties.

6) The average number of employees must be not less that 15 during the finacial year ended during the 12 months to 30 June 1998 for the Independent 100 and not less than 150 in respect of the Middle Market 50.

7) The company's auditors must certify the information relating to sales, pre-tax profit and employees given on the entry form, together with the status of the company throughout the period.

8) Sales are defined as the value to the company (or group of companies) of goods and services provided, excluding VAT, out of the core company (or group of companies), together with any other companies which have been acquired during the five year period; sales of associated companies and joint ventures should be excluded.

9) Average employee numbers are to be calculated on a basis consistent with (8) above. Part time staff should be counted as proportions of full time staff.

10) The length of each accounting period must be stated for which sales, pre-tax profit and employees details are being provided. Where the length of the accounting period is not 12 months the sales details will be apportioned unless more accurate information is supplied.

11) Companies must submit a copy of their audited statutory accounts for the most recent qualifying financial period.

12) The decision of the Business Editor of Independent on Sunday is final in all matters concerning the Independent 100.

13) The Independent on Sunday reserves the right to publish the information supplied (excluding details of pre-tax profits).

Completed certified entry forms must be received not later than Friday 2 April 1999.

Forms should be sent to Philip Rego, KITE/Independent 100, Willoughby House, 439 Richmond Road, East Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 2HA.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee