FLEDGLING businesses are being encouraged to enter a competition to win free advertising and mentoring support by one of last year’s winners.
Janet Myers entered her photography business into the Local Business Accelerators campaign as a way to take it to the next stage.
Focused on running it day to day, Janet needed help seeing the bigger picture and getting more exposure for her company, which specialises in children’s photography.
She said: ‘I’d definitely tell other companies to do it, even the process of putting together the presentation for the judges is useful – it really focused me on my business.
‘It was a really good experience, and getting the feedback from the judges was really motivating.’
The campaign is run nationally by the Newspaper Society, which has teamed up with local papers like The News to find small firms which are five years old or younger, which need a little bit of help.
Short-listed companies are asked to make a presentation to a small judging panel on their business and why they think a free advertising campaign could help them, as well as what they would be looking for in terms of mentoring help.
Janet teamed up with Caroline Sharman from the New Theatre Royal.
Janet said: ‘She helped me to focus on not just the here and now, but where I wanted my business to be in a year’s time. The advertising helped the business get more exposure, and helped people know who I am.
‘I’m doing a Day in the Life photoshoot at Meon Infant School, and they’re really excited as some of the pictures will be in The News as part of my advertising campaign.’
One of the judges, Stef Nienaltowski, chief operating officer for Integritie, said he hoped to see even more entries than for last year’s Local Business Accelerators campaign. Nationally, more than 400 entries have been received, well ahead of the campaign’s November 16 deadline.
To find out more, and to enter, see newspapersoc.org.uk/accelerate-me