A WIMBORNE business has outperformed thousands of entrepreneurs to reach the semi-finals of the 2009 HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards.

The national contest, now in its ninth year, recognises, supports and celebrates the initiative and dedication shown by new business in the UK.

Karen Arnold and Dr John Knowles, who started The Enterprise and Skills Company Limited in Lodge Road, Holt, are now hoping to scoop the top title and a cheque for £25,000.

The business has developed a range of innovative initiatives to inspire and educate young people for success in their future working lives, through creative and imaginative learning concepts.

Programmes are delivered to entire year groups and the company’s programmes are designed to complement textbook learning with activities to help them discover their own unique skills and abilities that would be of value to future employers.

The Enterprise and Skills Company Limited is one of 60 companies to secure a place in the semi-finals.

Their entry will now be considered by a panel of business experts who will select the top 25 start-up companies to go forward to the national judging.

The overall winner will be revealed at a black-tie gala dinner at London’s InterContinental Hotel on November 23.