A new award category to recognise promising young entrepreneurs was launched yesterday by the Rotary Club of Singapore and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Asme) under the Entrepreneur of the Year awards (EYA) - which also celebrated its 25th birthday yesterday.

EYA has always been open to companies with a revenue of $100 million and below but now the smaller firms, in particular those with revenue of $20 million and below, will have their own award category, called the Young Entrepreneur, which will allow them to compete among themselves, while the more established firms vie under what will now be called the Established Entrepreneur category.

Rotary Singapore and Asme said that the new award segment was conceptualised to suit the business nature of emerging entrepreneurs and enterprises.

Said Kurt Wee, EYA's co-chairman and vice-president of awards and projects at Asme: "To allow more enterprises to be part of our award journey, we have opened EYA 2013 to companies with at least two years of audited financial statements in our new Young Entrepreneur category. To ensure a level playing field for this group of young entrepreneurs, a cap of $20 million turnover will be imposed for this category. Those with a higher turnover and have more years of establishment will naturally fall in the Established Entrepreneur category."

The Young Entrepreneur category will have three sub-category awards. On top of naming the overall winner, companies can also win awards for their business strategy, innovation and social contribution.

The Established Entrepreneur category will retain the previous sub-category awards called enterprise, innovation and nextgen. Two new ones will be added to recognise service excellence, and good branding and communication.

Stanley Low, EYA's co chairman from the Rotary Club of Singapore, said that the two different award categories will "hopefully attract more outstanding entrepreneurs to come forward, to step onto the national stage and showcase their achievements to industry peers and the public".

The main sponsor of the award is OCBC Bank. Other sponsors include StarHub, Martell and Lexus. Submissions are open and close on July 17.