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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Entries impress judges in business competition

AMBITION, passion and acumen are three of the key characteristics the judges of a business competition are looking to discover.

The four judges of the Evening Mail’s Local Business Accelerators competition have started looking at the entries and have been overwhelmed by the range and level of new businesses putting themselves forward.

Nine entries have already been received, from companies hoping to win the prize of three months’ free advertising in the Evening Mail and mentoring from three judges; Mike Armstead of Wax Lyrical, Duncan Peake of the Holker Group and Peter Barton of Forge Europa.

Mr Peake, who is hoping to see entries from new businesses which would benefit from his property expertise, said: “What we’re looking for is someone who is passionate, ambitious and has real commercial sense; someone who has real plans for taking their business forward.”

Mr Armstead will be able to help businesses through his experience in retail and manufacturing. He bought Wax Lyrical, then called Colony Candles, and has turned the business around from being on the brink of administration to a successful candle and home furnishings manufacturer.

He said: “We’d like to see entries from people who have strong plans and who would benefit from both aspects of the prize; both the advertising and the mentoring.”

The third judge, Peter Barton, has experience in launching his own engineering business; LED firm Forge Europa.

The LBA competition is open to local businesses which have been operating for between 12 months and three years. The scheme is being run by regional newspapers across the UK and in Cumbria is supported by Armstrong Watson and the University of Cumbria.

There are just two weeks left to enter ahead of the closing date of November 14. A shortlist of 10 entries will be revealed on December 7 and a further round of judging will then take place, with the shortlisted entrants presenting a pitch to the judges on December 12.

 

 

The three winners will be announced on January 11.

For more information and to enter visit www.accelerateme.co.uk or call Evening Mail business correspondent Amy Fenton on 01229 840143.

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