Apprentice star Katie Hopkins to be guest speaker at Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards

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APPRENTICE star Katie Hopkins is lining up a friendly fixture at the Stadium of Light.

Katie, who starred in the 2007 series of the hit show, will be guest speaker at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards presentation evening at the stadium on Thursday, October 11.

And there’s still time to stake your claim to a place among the winners on the night. >>CLICK HERE TO ENTER

The deadline for this year’s awards was due to expire last Friday, but we’ve extended it for a week after a flurry of last-minutes entries.

Entering could hardly be easier – all you have to do is visit www.echoportfolioawards.co.uk and enter your details online.

This year sees the introduction of several new awards.

We’ll be honouring companies that do business overseas in our export category, there’s a new award for medium-size businesses (between 11 and 50 employees), and we’re recognising the important role of the leisure industry with a new category for hotels, restaurants, bars and leisure centres.

But that doesn’t mean we’re abandoning the categories which have been so successful in the past.

We’re retaining our small business (under 10 employees) and large business (more than 50 employees) categories, as well as training, technology, and creative industries, employer and employee of the year.

Our green award recognises firms doing their bit for the globe, while businesses in operation for less than two years can enter our new business category.

The new business creation award offers entrepreneurs the chance to win a year’s mentoring from Sunderland University’s Bernie Callaghan and Harland Hair and Beauty’s Darren Williams.

We also have our lifetime achievement award and overall business of the year – won last year by Nissan.

Sunderland City Council is again our main sponsor, along with Northumbrian Water, Sunderland University, Gentoo, Azure, CES Group, SAFC, Press Ahead, Morton’s Solicitors, The Bridges, Thompson Building Centres, Nissan, Barclays, TTR Barnes, O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions, Verum Victum and Harland Hair and Beauty.

For further information or to book tickets for the dinner, email bernice@sortedpr.com

Twitter: @sunechobiz