SMALL firms with big potential are reminded they have just days to enter the Local Business Accelerators contest to win mentoring from some of the region's most respected businesspeople and free advertising in The Journal.
The campaign, which has a total of £15m in free newspaper advertising to dish out to the successful firms, is spearheaded by the Newspaper Society and backed by Dragons’ Den judge Deborah Meaden and Prime Minister David Cameron.
Meaden said: “Local Business Accelerators is the perfect opportunity to drive your business to success. With less than a week before entries close, I’m calling on businesses in the North East to get involved.
“I’ve got a simple message for businesses in the North East – don’t miss this great opportunity! Free advertising in The Journal and invaluable mentoring advice to kick-start your business is not to be thrown away.
“So if you’re a business that’s between one and three years old, with a great idea that wants to succeed, enter to be in with a chance of building a better future.”
So far, around 40 small businesses in the North East have put forward their details for the scheme.
Nearly 500 regional and local publications – including The Journal – have joined up to launch the campaign to promote the strength and value of newspapers for local businesses.
Feedback from businesses has been positive with one applicant saying: “What you are doing is fantastic. It’s innovative, and it will give start-ups and small businesses a massive boost. We really need schemes like this in the UK to help us grow and get recognition.”
The Journal has asked experienced businessmen Alan Hall, Geoff Hodgson and Alan Holmes, and Journal business editor Iain Laing, to form the judging panel, which will shortlist entries before awarding three firms with the prize of free advertising and business advice. They will be looking out for one overall star business to put forward to be in with a chance to gain Deborah Meaden as a mentor.
If you run a business that could be one of the North East’s winning firms, or know anyone who does, visit www.accelerateme.co.uk . Entries close on November 14, 2011.