A business guru from the Dragon’s Den TV series has joined local newspapers, including the Daventry Express, in backing a scheme for young businesses.
Deborah Meaden and 500 regional papers have launched Local Business Accelerators for promising young businesses.
The campaign, also backed by the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King, sees £15 million of free advertising and mentoring.
Businesses aged between one and five years old can enter LBA for the chance to win a free ad campaign in their local paper plus mentoring support from local business leaders. 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.
Mrs 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 the initiative once again.
“The campaign provided tangible examples of the real contribution that local 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.”
Last year’s overall LBA winner, Ilkley Brewery in Yorkshire, saw its orders in Leeds double as a result of the free ad campaign in its local paper and the business expanded to take on two new employees.
Businesses aged between one and five years can enter the LBA competition via the website www.accelerateme.co.uk before November 16.