Last call for the Top 100

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The Independent Online
COMPANIES have just five days left to join in the search for Britain's fastest-growing private companies. The listing, in its fourth year, is compiled by the Independent on Sunday and Price Waterhouse, with the aim of recognising the achievement of the many owner-managers who have defied the recession by expanding their companies and creating thousands of jobs.

Indeed, recent research from the Centre for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises at the Warwick Business School demonstrates the growing importance of the sector. Thirty per cent of all jobs in the European Union are through self- employment or in 'micro- enterprises' with fewer than 10 workers, while small firms employing fewer than 100 provide 55 per cent of jobs.

Their role is increasingly being recognised, not only by governments but also by advisers and banks who see the sector as a profitable source of business. Many of these enterprises have been so successful they have become quoted companies, but many choose to remain private. If your company is among them and growing, we want to hear from you. You must have had sales of at least pounds 500,000 five years ago ( pounds 5m for the Middle Market Award recognising those growing from an established base) and have seen significant expansion since.

For applications: Julie Harwood, Price Waterhouse, Southwark Towers, 32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SY. Tel 071-939 3000.

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