The Spark Business Idea competition has arrived in Leicestershire and companies with new business and growth ideas are being urged to enter, pitch their ideas and vie for prizes worth over £37,000.
This competition represents the finale of 2013’s Spark Harborough, an initiative designed to generate jobs, encourage entrepreneurism and boost the local economy.
Local and regional companies have rushed to support the competition donating cash and business support prizes which include social media strategy planning, business coaching, free office space, accountancy, web design and Chamber membership.
The Spark Competition has three categories and a host of prizes attached to each with the total prize currently standing at £37,395 and growing by the week:
Rachel Panther of Oxford Innovation is running Spark on behalf of Harborough District Council, which owns Harborough Innovation Centre.
She said: “This competition is a fitting finale to Spark and will enable us to identify the district’s most exciting and potential entrepreneurs in order to target extra support and resources to facilitate their success. We do encourage anyone thinking of starting a business, planning a growth step with an existing business or in need of some business support and advice to engage with Spark right now so we can really offer the maximum value to your business plans.”
James Briggs, Chairman of The Harboro Rubber Co Ltd, Harboro Enterprises Ltd and Briggs Ltd, is lending his support to Spark Harborough as both a prize sponsor and business mentor. He said: ”We at the Harboro Rubber Company are delighted to be sponsoring the Spark Business Idea Competition and will be donating £2000 to the winner of the best growth idea from an established business with the aim of helping to kick start their next growth step. We believe that great business ideas should be encouraged and cultivated and I am personally looking forward to meeting the winners of each of the competition categories to see what other support we might offer.”
Leader Harborough District Council, Councillor Blake Pain, said: "The District Council is a committed supporter of the Spark programme and we've been really pleased by the response to it so far.
“The competition will be both a platform to test new business ideas and a method of increasing the chances of new ideas from the district turning to commercial success and we look forward to seeing the outcomes in due course."
Businesses are invited to enter Spark today (from September 9th). The entry process is simple and straightforward and involves completion of a short online questionnaire covering the business idea itself, the target market and its commercial potential. This can all be found on Spark Harborough website. The closing date will be November 15th and the final judging and awards ceremony will take place in December.
Find out more, register your interest or enter the competition here: www.sparkharborough.com
Thank you to our growing number of Spark Sponsors who are passionate supporters of the Harborough business community. Here is a list of them and the Spark prizes:
Best New Business Idea for the under 25-year-olds: worth £16,195
Best New Business Idea for the over 25-year-olds: worth £15,685
Best Growth Idea for Established Businesses: worth £5,515.
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