Budding entrepreneurs have been swift to enter South Kesteven District Council’s annual SK Pioneers competition with the chance of winning £1,000 for their business.
Six entries have so far been received from across the business spectrum and across the district with the closing date still more than a week away.
A shortlist will be drawn up once the competition closes and those selected will be lining up to meet a judging panel of local, high profile business people organised by Grantham Business Club.
They will be pitching their ideas within a friendly-style Dragon’s Den scenario, whose five judges will be in a position to also offer mentoring or further financial support to shortlisted businesses.
At stake is the £1,000 first prize for the winner, plus runners up prizes of £250 from the Federation of Small Businesses and a further £150 for a highly commended entry.
Chairman of Grantham Business Club Darren Joint will be heading the judging panel as an engineer with a passion for UK manufacturing and entrepreneurial e-commerce business who has led Viking Signs through five fold growth in the last eight years from a small local sign company to a leader in the field.
Thea Hood, managing partner at Hood Parkes and Co, joins Darren to bring both the passion and down to earth business sense which in six years has helped grow her practice into one of the top places for business support.
David Hindmarch, MD of Grantham Investments and former MD of Chandlers Oil and Gas, is well-known in the Grantham business community and is passionate about supporting business growth in Grantham.
As a former board member of Geest, growing from £20m to £1,100m turnover, Tim Sutton started his own fresh produce business – a fish farm – which he grew ten fold. He brings a vast experience of supporting over 500 high growth businesses across the East Midlands.
Chris Eynon, MD of mergers and acquisitions specialists consultants Operational Development, completes the judging line-up with over 30 years’ experience of buying, selling, running and helping businesses.
An SK Pioneers individual or business entrant must be based within South Kesteven, paying household or business rates to SKDC, and businesses must have not traded for more than 36 months.
Entry forms are available from the Enterprise Week website at www.skdcenterpriseweek.co.uk where they can be downloaded or filled in and returned online.
Closing date for entries is March 24.
Judging will take place on April 5 and 6 with the winner announced and presented with their prize at the Grantham Journal Business Awards at Belton Horse Trials on Wednesday, April 13 by last year’s winner, Sarah Goss of the Savvy Food Company.