Dragons’ Den star calls on firms to enter campaign

The Emsworth and District bus without its roof, after hitting the bridge. Credit: John Horsman

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DRAGONS’ Den star Deborah Meaden is calling on businesses to register their places in The News campaign to help local firms.

Business expert Miss Meaden, who is famous for scrutinising business pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs on the hit BBC show, has backed the Local Business Accelerators campaign days before its November 14 deadline.

It is a £15m initiative devised by a partnership between the local press and business leaders to revitalise the economy during these tough times.

The News is one of 500 papers joining together to run the initiative, which is open to businesses between one and three years old.

Each regional newspaper will select up to three businesses to receive free advertising and mentoring support.

The Newspaper Society and Miss Meaden will review all the regional winners and select the entry they feel most deserves to win a personal mentoring prize from the television star.

Miss Meaden said: ‘Local Business Accelerators is the perfect opportunity to drive your business to success.

‘With days before entries close I’m calling on businesses in the Portsmouth area to get involved.

‘I’ve got a simple message – don’t miss this great opportunity! Free advertising in The News and invaluable mentoring advice to kick-start your business is not to be thrown away.

‘So if you’re a business that’s between one and three years old, with a great idea that wants to succeed, enter to be in with a chance of building a better future for both your business and the local community.’

To find out more, and to enter, visit accelerateme.co.uk, where Miss Meaden and Prime Minister David Cameron explain more.