Burton-on-Trent has been crowned the West Midlands Enterprise Capital for 2006.
It follows the publication of the list of regional winners of the DTI's Enterprising Britain 2006 competition.
The competition, launched in January, is a key part of the Government's drive to increase entrepreneurship.
The aim is to identify areas of enterprise excellence - places that have created jobs, brought communities together, and made a real difference to local businesses and local people.
The Enterprising Burton entry - led by East Staffordshire Borough Council and Business Enterprise Support - impressed judges with the way the town has rebuilt and diversified the economic out-look following a decline of jobs in the 1990s.
Since the 1990s, Burton has lost more than 9,000 jobs in brewing, plastics and rubber manufacturing and, as a result of this, pockets of deprivation containing high unemployment, low levels of skills and high crime arose in parts of the town.
To overcome these problems, the team behind Enterprising Burton has worked to re-build and diversify its economy.
The aim has been to create conditions to enable the entrepreneurial spirit of new and expanding businesses to drive economic growth.
A variety of schemes are run by Business Enterprise Support including the Burton Entrepreneurs programme which promotes self-employment by running workshops and seminars in the community.
Richard Hutchins, director of economic development at Advantage West Midlands, who co-ordinated the competition within the region on behalf of the Government's Small Business Service, said: "Everybody in Burton should be proud of the way the town has overcome its challenges.
"The results speak for themselves, as since 1998 the town has enjoyed growth in employment of around 20 per cent, a far higher growth than in other parts of the region.
"The Burton Entrepreneurs programme has helped create 250 new start-ups, with more than 70 per cent still trading after two years which is a truly remarkable achievement.
"Perhaps most impressive is that this programme has more than 75 businesses start up which are run by members of the black and minority ethnic communities within the deprived wards of Burton."
Cllr Charles Wimbush, deputy leader for development and regeneration at East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: "This is a real triumph for the town and should be dedicated to all those who have worked hard to turn around Burton's economy."
Judith Kirkland, operations director at Business Enterprise Support, said: "This recognition is going to enable us to build on the hard work that has already been carried out to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in Burton."
The Enterprising Burton team were presented with their award at a ceremony at Coors Visitor Centre, Burton, yesterday.
Twelve projects across the country have been shortlisted and will compete against each other at the UK final in September for the Enterprising Britain 2006 accolade.
The winner will then represent the UK in the European Enterprise Awards later this year.