THE Mail today launches this year’s local business accelerator campaign to find Burton and South Derbyshire’s best new firms.
The nationwide campaign, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, will see one company win a £10,000 cash prize and mentoring from Dragons’ Den star and multi-millionaire businesswoman Deborah Meaden.
Companies have until November 16 to enter the competition. The best nominations received by the Mail will then benefit from mentoring and publicity before one firm is put forward to compete against finalists selected by other newspapers in the competition’s national final.
The Prime Minister said: “The local business accelerators campaign has provided tremendous support to fledgling businesses across the country and I am delighted that it will be running for a second year.
“Local newspapers play a vital role in their communities and are uniquely placed to support small businesses, giving them the boost that they need to grow, which is good for local areas and good for the economy as a whole.
“I hope more young businesses put themselves forward over the coming months and get involved with this innovative scheme, which rewards entrepreneurship and creative thinking in business.”
Stephen Welton, chief executive of the Business Growth Fund, which is donating the £10,000 prize, said: “Local business accelerators is an excellent initiative by the local press industry which recognises and rewards the most promising young businesses. It is a much-needed boost to UK entrepreneurship.”
Last year the Swadlincote-based Chameleon School of Construction was picked by the Mail to compete in the competition’s national final as Burton and South Derbyshire’s best new start-up business.
This was judged by Kevin Booth, editor of the Burton Mail; Fiona Shaw, publisher for Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd; Ben Robinson, chairman of Burton Albion Football Club and founder of Ben Robinson Insurance; Dave Bryon, director of the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce and former managing director of budget airline bmibaby; and Chris Else, founding partner at Else Solicitors.