SEASIDE small and medium sized businesses can get a shot in the arm with the help of a business expert as part of the Local Business Accelerators initiative.
The scheme aims to help young businesses by offering free mentoring plus much-needed press advertising for a year.
Last year scores of businesses entered the competition and once again this national initiative is attracting great interest.
The competition is open to businesses which have been running full time for one to five years. Entries must have 12 months of accounts available and be financially viable and profitable.
Local press advertising is a proven force to drive growth for SMEs – 60 per cent of small business owners agree advertising in their local newspaper is the best way to attract customers in their area – and the same can be said for mentoring.
More than 90 per cent of businesses that secured help from a mentor reported seeing the benefit, with three quarters citing an improvement in their ability to develop business plans and strategy.
Mentoring is a key part of the Government and private sector’s Business in You campaign which is supporting LBA for the first time.
Business in You highlights the range of support and advice available to businesses to help them start up, improve and grow.
And a key partner of the Business in You campaign is mentorsme.co.uk—Britain’s first online mentoring gateway.
Penny Power a business mentor, experienced entrepreneur, and one of BIS’s mentoring ambassadors said: “As a mentor, my goal is to provide the support an entrepreneur needs to stay confident and focused on their goals.
“Having an outlet where you can share ideas or concerns and get guidance on the next steps can be invaluable to someone who is starting a business.”
To enter simply go online at www.accelerateme.co.uk and fill in the form.
When submitting the online application, be sure to select Blackpool Gazette under Newspaper Title.
This will ensure that your information is passed on by the Newspaper Society, which is spearheading the LBA campaign, to ourselves at The Gazette.
We will then share this information with our LBA panel.
At the end of November, a shortlist of local finalists will be selected.
The most promising businesses will go forward to the national stage of the competition to win a year’s mentoring from Deborah Meaden and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency plus a £10,000 cash prize from the Business Growth Fund.
The closing date for entries is Friday, November 16.