The 2012 Local Business Accelerators (LBA) initiative, launched in the Oxford Mail and its sister titles across the Newsquest Oxfordshire group for a second year, follows its highly successful debut in 2011.
Three of the most promising businesses in the county will be offered free newspaper advertising for a year along with advice and mentoring from top business experts.
West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts Children's Theatre School in Witney, near Oxford, is delighted to have been selected as a finalist for this fantastic opportunity, spearheaded by Dragon's Den mentor: Deborah Meaden.
LBA represents a national drive worth £15m across more than 500 local and regional newspapers spearheaded by the Newspaper Society. It is again being backed by Deborah Meaden, a judge on TVs Dragons Den.
Ms Meaden will then become a mentor and consultant to one lucky business picked from the hundreds of regional winners.
Last years competition saw three Oxfordshire winners picked from almost 40 young businesses who entered.
The judges of the competition will be Mike Jennings, who runs the Jennings business parks across the county, Brendon Cross, managing director of Witney-based STL Communications and Bob Urwin, of Oxford letting agents Martin & Co.
They will work alongside Newsquest Oxfordshires business editor Andrew Smith to review and shortlist entries before awarding the winners the prize of free advertising and business advice. They will also go on to mentor the winning three businesses.
The campaign has been backed by Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron, as well as the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King.
Mr Cameron added: The Local Business Accelerators campaign has provided tremendous support to fledgling businesses across the country and I am delighted it will be running for a second year.
One overall star business will be put forward to be in with a chance to gain Dragons Den star Deborah Meaden as a mentor during 2013.
Ms Meaden said: Enterprise and entrepreneurism in the local community are more important than ever before and I look forward to finding another young business to mentor and drive forward.
West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts is one of 11 finalists to have been shortlisted from businesses across Oxfordshire.
WOAPA is a Childrens Theatre School based in Witney for ages 416 years, which is open at weekends during the standard academic term.
Providing quality tuition in the three disciplines of Singing, Dance and Drama, class sizes are deliberately kept small to ensure that each child receives the individual attention they deserve.
Classes are led by experienced and enthusiastic tutors whose skills in working with young people enable WOAPA students to develop at their own pace, and encourage them to reach their true potential.
With no entry auditions or previous experience required, whether your child dreams of a career in performing arts or simply wants to make new friends, WOAPA will boost your childs confidence
and theyll have loads of fun!