The shortlist has been drawn up in the local newspaper industry Local Business Accelerators (LBA) campaign for businesses in the Solihull News circulation area.
The campaign is supported by the Government and private sector’s Business in You campaign and backed by the Prime Minister.
More than 500 newspapers across the UK have joined forces to deliver a £15 million boost to promising young businesses through free advertising and mentoring.
The most promising businesses will go forward to the national stage of the competition to win a year’s mentoring from Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.
Last year’s LBA winner, Ilkley Brewery, in Yorkshire, which is receiving mentoring support from Deborah, saw its orders in Leeds double as a result of the free LBA ad campaign in a local paper and the business expanded to take on two new employees since taking part in the initiative.
The four businesses selected to go through by the Solihull News are:
n Cappuccino cafe in
based in Knowle
n Dorothy & Thedore,
an online shopping site
n Hats of Lapworth,
purveyors of fine headgear.
New research shows that Britain’s young businesses are positive about prospects for growth despite tough economic times, but they still need advice and support.
Research conducted by Toluna and campaign organisers the Newspaper Society reveals that a third – 35 per cent – of owners of young businesses expect some or significant growth in the next 12 months.
Owners were most likely to use local newspapers to advertise their businesses (22 per cent) while local newspapers were cited as the most effective form of advertising (49 per cent).
The overall winner will receive free membership of the CBI for a year, free business advice from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales valued at £2,000, and an iPad from Freeagent, which is also offering a year’s free access to its accountancy software to each of the national finalists, valued at £300 per finalist.
That’s in addition to the campaign’s main prize of mentoring from Deborah Meaden, and a free ad campaign in their local newspaper.
The Business Growth Fund has also contributed a £10,000 cash sum for the overall winner.