Entrepreneurs growing enterprises in the Midlands now have the chance to develop their support, with the launch of a new forum this week.

The Ambitious Companies forum, established by PricewaterhouseCoopers, is designed to offer practical advice on the challenges and opportunities faced by owner managers and an opportunity to network.

The first event, which will be held this Thursday at PricewaterhouseCoopers' Cornwall Court office, will provide an in-depth assessment of how the recent Budget impacts on businesses and their owners.

Keith Anderson, partner and leader of the Ambitious Companies forum, said: "Established businesses are operating in a tough trading environment, so the challenges facing new enter-prises are even greater.

"Not only do they have to focus on growing the business, but also have a significant regulatory framework to get to grips with and a whole host of people-related issues to address.

"The content of the forum's events programme has been developed in consultation with a wide range of small and medium sized companies whom we are currently working with.

"We have listened to the issues they are facing and developed a programme of events that will help them to respond to the challenges ahead, such as maintaining a competitive edge, keeping ahead of the markets and technological change, adapting to resource constraints and meeting growth targets."

The Ambitious Companies Forum will cover a wide range of issues during the next 12 months, including reward planning, an update on preparing for deal activity and an overview of key tax developments.

Farah Baksh, a recently appointed business development director who will focus on the needs of ambitious SMEs and privately owned companies as well as smaller Plc's, said: "We hope like-minded entrepreneurs will see the forum as a means of exchanging views, benchmarking and, perhaps even more importantly, taking heart from the fact that they are not alone in facing difficult challenges associated with growth and fierce competition."