O2 and Arena today announce that six entrepreneurs from Manchester have been shortlisted for the Arena O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2006. Those businessmen selected have been identified as some of the most exciting entrepreneurs in the UK, building dynamic new businesses in the fields of design, music, gaming, property, technology and media. Following a successful launch in 2003, this year the prestigious Arena O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year Award has been extended to six regions (including Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow), across the UK to celebrate individuality and new perspectives on running entrepreneurial businesses that are in tune with contemporary living. O2 partnered with Arena to highlight and celebrate business men who have a strong passion for innovation, determination to push the boundaries in their field and do business in a different and individual way. To recognise the influential individuals at the heart of the Manchester business scene, an exclusive dinner is being hosted by O2 and Arena on Tuesday 31st January 2006 at Le Mont restaurant. The event will provide the entrepreneurs with the chance to network with fellow businessmen and meet with O2 and Arena judges. William Drew, editor of Arena magazine, comments: “We have been delighted with the calibre of entrepreneurs that have entered this year’s Entrepreneur Award, especially from the vibrant city of Manchester. Whether they are bringing new business perspectives to the fields of graphic design, technology or entertainment, this new breed of innovative, creative British men are shaping our lives, our cities and ultimately will become the future faces in business.“ Peter Rampling, Head of SME Marketing at O2, comments: “In its second successive year, the Arena O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year Award continues to uncover a wealth of male business talent who display the cutting edge innovation, creative vision and drive to succeed in highly competitive business markets. From iFone, the mobile phone gaming company, to Curtis & Baines, the niche estate agency tailored at young professionals, it will be interesting to see how Manchester’s young, business tycoons compare against the rest of the UK’s entrepreneurs at the finals in June.” The 2005 Arena O2 X Award winners included Paul Curtis, Symbollix (Entrepreneur of the Year), Daniel Craig (Actor), Matthew Vaughan (Director), Carlo Brandelli / Graeme Fidler (Fashion), Andrew Strauss (Sport), David Morrisey (TV and Comedy).