Rent prize for new business

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Everyone at some point has dreamed of starting up their own business, but only a small percentage actually do something about it.

Whether it be a great innovative idea, or a desire to work for themselves, it is a big risk, both financially and emotionally.

Oxford Innovation and Nottinghamshire County Council are offering one lucky winner the opportunity to take the plunge with relatively low risk, through their Business Plan Competition.

Three entrepreneurs or management teams will have the chance to win a comprehensive package of resources and support services to an estimated value of £35,000.

“We’re looking for anyone who has a commercial idea and ambition to run their own business,” explains Rachel Panther, regional director for the East Midlands at Oxford Innovation.

“This is a fabulous opportunity for anyone, of any age, that feels they have the drive and enthusiasm to turn their dreams into reality.”

Entrants are asked to register their interest with Oxford Innovation, and submit a business plan by the closing date of 18th May 2012.

The first prize includes one year’s free rent at any of the Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres in Mansfield, Newark or Worksop that are managed by Oxford Innovation.

The prize also includes support services for the first year of operating, such as accountancy advice, employment law advice, branding, website design, access to patent and trademark specialists and business coaching.

For the two runners-up, there will be use of the virtual office facility for one year in a choice of the Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres, plus business support from Oxford Innovation.

Rachel added: “As the aim of the Business Plan Competition is to stimulate business start up rates in the region, we will be planning a series of half day workshops at the three centres during the week of 23rd April, to help entrants put together their business plans.

“We hope this will encourage more entrants, and also people who have not run a business before but want to do so and need to find out more about what is involved and the support that is available.”

A panel of judges made up from successful regional business people will select a shortlist of six businesses from the entries, and they will be invited to present their business plan at a judging and awards evening this summer.

l For more information, visit www.sparks-notts.co.uk where entry forms can be found.