Convenience Store readers have a chance to win a place at a three-day retailing masterclass with Mary Portas, retail guru and star of Mary Queen of Shops.

The scholarships are being offered to small business owners and managers by Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail.

Mary Portas said: "We're losing independents from our high streets; we have huge multiples that are driving in with sophisticated operations and we need to bring that sophistication and knowledge in a different way to the independent sector."

Skillsmart Retail chief executive Anne Seaman added: "These scholarships are a great opportunity for the winning retailers to learn how they can really push themselves and their businesses forward."

The scholarship package includes two nights' accommodation in central London and the course runs from January 25-27, 2011.

For a chance to attend for free, complete the application form here. The closing date is October 8.