By Max Clarke

Metro, the free urban national newspaper, launches Venture Candy 2011 to find the businesses and entrepreneurs of the future.

Launched this morning, Wednesday 4th May, the Metro campaign invites aspiring business owners to submit applications online, to win a host of prizes that will enable their businesses to grow.

Last year’s inaugural competition saw its winners, Graze and Smilepod, catapulted to business success with the help of 5 figure advertising campaigns and hands-on business advice.

“Following the success of last year’s Venture Candy, we are delighted to launch the competition for the second year,” said Sarah Divan, Head of Brand Extensions at Metro.

“We are delighted that Metro will continue to champion the great British tradition of invention and creativity and invest in the next generation of budding entrepreneurs through this competition,” continued Divan.

The aim of the competition is to provide budding enterprises with the exposure, profile and support they need to transform themselves into the talked-about brands of the future.

Metro will drive entries through in paper and online promotions beginning with a cover wrap on Wednesday 4th May. Entrants will have two weeks to submit their applications across 5 categories: Design & Technology; Fashion & Interiors; Food & Drink; Health & Beauty and Green. A panel of judges, including Stuart Trevor, Sarah Beeny, Piers Linney, Jo Malone MBE, Tyler Moorehead and Richard Reed, will then select the best 3 from each category, from a list of the top 100.

The top 15 will then be featured editorially in Metro throughout a week, allowing its urbanite readers to vote for the people and products they want to see succeed. The winners will be announced on 20 July.