DRAGONS’ Den star Deborah Meaden and the Prime Minister have thrown their weight behind the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) contest.
Our competition is part of a national campaign spearheaded by the Newspaper Society and supported by nearly 500 newspapers.
The winner of the national contest will win a year’s mentoring from Ms Meaden along with a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative advertising agency.
Ms 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.”
Prime Minister David Cameron is also backing the bid.
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.
“I hope more young businesses put themselves forward over the coming months and get involved with this innovative scheme, which rewards entrepreneurship and creative thinking in business.”