The winner of the 2005 Birmingham Small Business of the Year Award has launched the search for next year's most successful businesses.
Farshad Saffarian, managing director of Discount Computer Supplies, was on hand at the ICC with Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCI) chief executive Sue Battle to launch the chamber's 2006 Business Awards.
The chamber's annual awards are designed to celebrate and reward the achievements of large and small businesses across the region and recognise the very best of Birmingham's vibrant and innovative business community.
Ivan Bird, senior operations manager at BCI, said: "The Midlands business community is one of the most successful and ambitious in the country and it is important that we recognise really successful businesses in the region.
"Our awards are an opportunity for the very best businesses in the region to battle it out for the much-coveted titles of Business of the Year and Best Small Business, as well as other prestigious titles.
"If your business is a huge success story, there is no better way to make sure people know about it."
This year's award categories are Business of the Year, sponsored by The Wilkes Partnership; Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Eden Currie; Supporting the Volunteer award, sponsored by Sabre; Best Use of Technology award, sponsored by Central Technology Belt; and the Diversity in the Workplace award.
Discount Computer Supplies (DCS), based at the University of Birmingham, won the prestigious Small Business of the Year Award earlier this year. DCS was recognised by the chamber for developing an innovative new sales channel for its products.
The company was the first to sell computer peripherals through vending machines at 11 universities across the country and has subsequently patented the concept.
Mr Saffarian said: "It was a real honour to win the award and testament to our excellent team.
"Since winning the award last year, we have expanded to over 47 universities in the UK and we're not stopping there.
"The award helped us get noticed and show others that we are a successful and dynamic company. If you believe in your business and what you are doing, there is no excuse for not entering."
All award finalists will be invited to attend Birmingham Chamber's annual conference, exhibition and banquet on Friday, March 10, 2006, at the ICC in Birmingham.
The Business and Small Business of the Year awards are open to members of Birmingham and Solihull Chamber, and the Diversity, Best Use of Technology, and Supporting Volunteers awards are open to all businesses based in the region.
* For more information about Birmingham's most prestigious business awards, or to apply online, visit www.thechamberawards.co.uk.