Business leaders who are good role models have a crucial role in inspiring the next generation to start-up new firms, according to a Lancashire businessman.

Lee Petts, managing director of Remsol which is sponsoring the New Business of the Year category at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, said the celebrity status around enterprise can play a major role in shaping the future of our economy.

Remsol is a Preston-based multi-disciplinary consultancy focused on helping people grow sustainable, resilient businesses.

Figures by the Centre for Entrepreneurs think-tank shows nearly 12,000 new businesses started up in the county during 2014, and Mr Petts believes the BIBAs provides a spotlight to promote new businesses in a positive light.

He said: “These figures show Lancashire is a great place to do business and the BIBAs provide a spotlight within which our brightest and best can shine.

“With the rise of television shows like Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice, setting up in business has never had such a high profile and, as businesses in Lancashire, we need to do all we can to inspire the next generation to follow suit.”

The businessman, who recently “re-invented” his own business to create a consultancy that helps businesses realise their growth ambitions by being ‘greener’ and better prepared for when things occasionally go wrong, was part of the panel which visited the finalists in the BIBAs’ new business of the year category as part of an ‘on tour’ round of judging.

The awards introduced the second round of interviews on its applicants own patch to ensure judges were selecting the very best of the best for the prizes, dubbed ‘the one they all want to win.’

Mr Petts said: “Seeing businesses on their own premises gave me an unrivalled view of what makes them successful and proved to me there so much enterprising spirit in the county.

“If by promoting the determination and talent which we already have in Lancashire inspires one person to start their own business, it will have been worthwhile.”

The figures shows a total of 11,710 businesses started up in Lancashire last year with the PR postcode area leading the way with 3,443 start-ups, followed by 2,777 in the BB area and 2,777 in the FY area.

Nationally, the research showed 581,173 businesses were registered with Companies House, beating the previous record of 526,446 businesses recorded in 2013, and 484,224 in 2012.

The BIBAs will hand out 18 prizes to businesses from across Lancashire at a prize-giving ceremony to be held in front of sell-out crowd at the Blackpool Tower on Friday, September 11.

Anyone wishing to join the waiting list for tickets for the BIBAs 2015 should contact organisers the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce on 01772 653000 to register.

A lifetime achievement award, Lancastrian of the Year, will also be handed out on the night, selected by a panel of the prize’s former winners.