PROMISING new businesses are being handed the chance to win a multi-million pound boost in The Gazette.
Businesses between one and five-years-old can enter the Local Business Accelerators for the chance to win a free ad campaign and mentoring support from business leaders.
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 and an advertising campaign devised by a top London creative advertising agency.
More than 500 newspapers across the UK are joining forces to deliver the £15m boost to businesses through the free advertising and mentoring campaign.
Prime minister David Cameron is supporting The Gazette-backed campaign.
He 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.”
Mrs Meadon, who is encouraging businesses to enter, added: “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 real contribution that newspapers can provide to young businesses across many different sectors, accelerating their development.
“Enterprise and entrepreneurism in the local community is more important than ever before and I look forward to finding another young business to mentor and drive forward.”
Michael Fallon, business and enterprise minister, added: “Mentoring is a vital part of starting and growing a business and thanks to the national portal, Mentorsme, there are now over 22,000 trained business mentors across the country.”
Businesses can enter the competition via the LBA hub – www.accelerateme.co.uk – before the closing date of November 16.