Emerging businesses across the Herald and Gazette area have a final chance to win a fantastic prize totalling thousands of pounds in free advertising with the Local Business Accelerators campaign.
So far, we have seen a number of young firms make their pitch for this major national initiative, which can really make a difference.
But you will need to be fast not to miss out, with the deadline for entering the Newspaper Society organised scheme being tomorrow (Friday, November 16), and all entries need to be placed with its website at www.accelerateme.co.uk.
Businesses between one and five years of age can enter the initiative, which will feature a further prize of mentoring from three leading industry figures from our area. This includes Tina Tilley of Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce, Chay Took, partner in accountancy firm Spofforths, and James Stoner, of JSPC, who has just gained business personality of the year award at our regional business awards.
The campaign is supported by the Government and backed by the Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King.
In addition to the prize of local mentoring for the winner and two runners up, the most promising businesses will go forward to the national stage of the competition to win a year’s mentoring from Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.
Welcoming the scheme’s return, she said: “With last year’s LBA having demonstrated the unique power of local and regional press to provide a meaningful boost to promising young businesses, I am delighted to be supporting the initiative once again. The campaign provided tangible examples of the contribution local newspapers can provide to young businesses across many different sectors.”
Worthing entrepreneur James Stoner was delighted to return as a mentor, acknowledging his own career was given a valuable kick-start by strong early advice.
He said: “I found it thoroughly enjoyable being involved with the campaign last year. It’s nice to be involved with helping businesses develop.
“Mentoring is important as it’s a tough economy, so people need advice and encouragement. Having just won the business personality of the year I am able to help businesses and I really enjoyed doing another peer to peer mentoring scheme with the chamber of commerce.”