THE prize pot for the big competition to help new businesses take flight has just been increased.
The Business Growth Fund has chipped in with a £10,000 cash award for the overall winner of the prestigious Local Business Accelerators (LBA) initiative.
Launched earlier this month, it is for businesses between one and five-years-old and offers a chance to win a free ad campaign and mentoring support from business leaders.
The campaign, organised by the Newspaper Society, has the support of more than 500 newspapers across the UK and the value of the advertising prize across all titles is £15m. Local Business Accelerators national ambassador Deborah Meaden, the entrepreneur and investor who appears on TV’s Dragons’ Den, will provide a year’s mentoring to the overall national winner, chosen from the regional finalists and the firm will also get an advertising campaign devised by a top London creative agency.
The Business Growth Fund (BGF), an independent business established to help the UK’s fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses, has come up with the £10,000 after seeing more than 400 new businesses apply nationally well ahead of the November 16 deadline.
BGF chief executive Stephen Welton 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.
“On behalf of BGF, I am delighted to be able to make this contribution to the overall LBA prize pot and we certainly hope to see to some LBA winners among our investee companies in the future.”
Deborah Meaden 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 it again.
To enter visit the website www.accelerateme.co.uk.
Kaos quick off the mark with accelerators initiative
ONE of the first entries for the LBAs from the Fylde are Clip ‘n Play Systems Ltd and Kaos Adventure.
Both businesses are run by Sarah and Rob Ansell in Lytham who have taken three years to get their dream off the ground – literally.
They run the Kaos Adventure indoor high wire adventure centre situated in an industrial unit behind Lidl on Preston Road – a radical climbing and soft play area for children of all ages which has been open for a year and recently won a Be Inspired in Business Award.
Walking on air has proved popular and they have since put in new features such as a soft play area for children under six who are too small for the ropes and two climbing trees plus, of course, a healthy food cafe.
Rob said: “We came up with the idea about three years ago.
“We went as a family to one of the outdoor ropes centres but there were too many restrictions, for example on age.”
They came up with an indoor non-linear obstacle course for all the family with a rope system which allows customers to tackle as many or as few challenges as they like.
He said: “Our plan is to grow the business. We gave ourselves three years to turn a profit and we are on target.
“The future for us is Clip ‘n Play Systems Ltd. We have patented the design and are ready to take it out wherever anybody wants an indoor high wire adventure. We will design it for them and help with the building.
“We have already had more than 40 inquiries in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, Belgium and Holland and so far we have put together nine serious quotes.
If they are chosen for the LBAs they will get help with advertising and mentoring.