Win free office space for a year

Want to set up your own business but not sure how to go about it? Enter the Nottinghamshire Business Idea competition, and you could not only win a prize of office space for a year and a comprehensive package of support and resources worth £35,000, but also be privy to some of the best mentors in the region.

Oxford Innovation, host of the Nottinghamshire Business Idea competition, is being joined by some of the region’s finest business professionals who are offering their expert knowledge to the winner of the competition free of charge.

Paul Gregory, of Legal and Business Affairs, said: “Getting the right advice in the early stages of starting a business is crucial to long term success.

“It can be a daunting prospect with all things legal, such as contracts with customers, suppliers, and employees; what should be in them and what do you need to watch out for. Getting it wrong or just ignoring it is not an option for running a successful business.”

Paul has been working in the commercial legal sector for 30 years. He will be offering the lucky winner of the competition a year’s support on legal matters associated with running a start-up business, including advice on the merits of trading as a sole proprietor, partnership or limited company, advising and arranging necessary insurances, providing all employment documents, arranging training as required, and support with health and safety issues.

Vault Studios will look after the winner’s branding and corporate identity.

“The Spark@Notts competition is something we’re really excited about being involved with,” says Paul Godney, creative director of Vault Studios. “We understand how difficult it can be to start a business, especially in the current climate, and we believe that working together to stimulate the local economy is vitally important.”

Based in the Mansfield i-Centre, one of the locations the winner could choose to start up, along with Newark Beacon and The Turbine in Worksop, Vault Studios is offering the winner a support package that includes logo concept and design, corporate identity for any marketing collateral, signage and vehicle livery, a custom Facebook landing page and profile graphic, a branded Twitter background page, email signature design and a website design.

“Our prize will set up the winner with a full brand identity system and website which, as we move towards an ever changing digital world, are paramount for any business nowadays,” added Paul.

Claire Weingaertner, of Focus Accounting, will be providing the winner with a year’s business and accountancy support and advice, annual accounts preparation and submission with company returns and self-assessment, monthly payroll, cash flow forecast and analysis to help with business growth and development, and also monthly management accounts.

The competition is open to anyone who has a commercial idea and wishes to run their own business.

It’s open to entrepreneurs of any age, any type of business and can be second ventures or young businesses that are yet to start trading.

The closing date for the competition is 18th May, and entrants are asked to register their interest with Oxford Innovation at www.spark-notts.co.uk where an application form can be found.

First prize includes office space for a year on a flexible letting agreement without any licence fee payable at any of the Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres in Mansfield, Newark or Worksop, managed by Oxford Innovation, plus the support services for the first year of operating, included in the sponsors’ packages. For two runners up, there will be virtual office space offered for a year in a choice of the Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres, plus business support.

“This competition is about supporting entrepreneurs to bring their business ideas to fruition and creating commercial success,” says Rachel Panther, regional director for the East Midlands at Oxford Innovation. “We will be offering free business planning workshops at each of the three Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres during April which will be open to anyone wishing to take part in the competition or to just develop their skills at modeling a business idea.”

The workshops will run from 10am until 4pm and will be held at the Mansfield i-Centre on Tuesday 24th April, Newark Beacon on Wednesday 25th April and Worksop Turbine on Thursday 26th April

l Places for the workshops are limited, so it is advised to register at www.spark-notts.co.uk.

To find out more information and enter the competition, visit www.spark-notts.co.uk.