Business leaders have joined forces to launch a competition for young people aimed at encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Start Up! Stamford offers those aged 17 to 21 the chance to set up their own business with the help of mentors from a range of professions.
The competition is open to people living within about 10 miles of Stamford and has the support of Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles.
Marketing expert and business coach Martin Fox was instrumental in launching the competition. He came up with the idea after Mr Boles spoke with him at St George’s Church in Stamford and asked what could be done for young people in the area.
“We have no doubt that there are a number of youngsters who could easily come up with a business idea that will fly with the right support,” he said.
“It can be absolutely anything. If someone wants to make sandwiches for local businesses, that’s fine. We don’t mind.
“But I want them to create something that they are proud of.”
Initial entries by individuals or teams of up to three will be accepted until November 7. From those, a shortlist will be drawn up. These entrants will then get the support of a team of mentors drawn from a range of business sectors, some of whom are pictured above. They will then go through a Dragon’s Den-style pitch in March.
The winner will get initial funding of up to £5,000, provided by sponsorship from businesses in the area.
They will also get free mentoring and support from both self-employed business people that have created successful businesses and specialists in law, accountancy, IT, HR and marketing. And there will be the opportunity to make local contacts and join networking organisations.
The competition is being run by the Stamford Youth Business Development Trust.