THEY came, they presented, and they were judged.
Today The News can reveal which three businesses have won our Local Business Accelerators campaign.
Jungle Buddies, from Knowle; Janet Myers Photography, from Milton; and Covered Insurance Solutions, from Park Gate have been named as our three finalists from a short list of six.
All three firms have won the chance to get expert help from a team of local business mentors, as well as a 12-week advertising campaign each.
They will also be invited to take part in a workshop run by the Business Growth Fund, and one lucky finalist will be put forward to the national competition later this year to win business mentoring from Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.
Laura Brown, of Jungle Buddies, said the news of the win came as a shock.
She added: ‘We were so nervous, we don’t present in front of people. It’s fantastic that we’re one of the winners.’
Janet Myers, who started a business combining her educational psychology qualifications with her passion for photography, said: ‘I can’t believe it, it’s great news.’
The finalists have been praised by Prime Minister David Cameron, who has supported the campaign – which is being run nationally by Johnston Press and the Newspaper Society.
He said: ‘Congratulations to all the winners of the Local Business Accelerators scheme.
‘It’s brilliant that so many promising young companies, from such a wide range of sectors, are benefiting from this excellent initiative.
‘Entrepreneurship, creativity and ambition are essential for our economic recovery and through Local Business Accelerators, newspapers such as The News are supporting some great new British businesses to grow, and helping to boost their local economy.’
Editor of The News, Mark Waldron added: ‘We were impressed with the quality of entries and we hope to help all of them to some extent, not just the three which won.’