More than 40 entries from Glasgow have been selected for the Evening Times Local Business Accelerator scheme, part of a UK-wide project to boost new companies.
Willie Haughey, Michelle Mone, and Martin Stepek, three of Glasgow's best-known business figures, are pledging their own time and effort to select and mentor ambitious young companies who enter the Evening Times competition.
Across the UK more than 3000 small businesses have entered the competition.
Rob Bruce, deputy editor of the Evening Times, said: "The response to our Local Business Accelerator scheme has been fantastic.
"We have three terrific mentors who have worked hard to inspire so many local entrepreneurs to bid for what is an excellent prize.
"I'm sure our three eventual winners will benefit greatly from the advertising opportunities provided and the help and advice our mentors will be able to give them."
Entries to the awards officially closed on November 14.
A shortlist of nominated companies will appear in the Evening Times on December 7.
The Evening Times is one of 500 newspapers across the UK pledging a total of £15 million in free advertising to the award winners.
The Newspaper Society-instigated competition, which is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron and the Bank of England, plus a raft of top business leaders, including Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden, is open to firms between one and three years old.
Entries from the Scottish companies will be assessed by our three mentors.
The three winners, who will qualify for the free advertising and mentoring, will then be announced in January.