Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Eight businesses from across Norfolk have today battled it out in the local finals of the Local Business Accelerators competition.
The LBA finalists
Anglia Business cleaning
Founder Emma Bussey is hoping that commercial cleaning services will be as easy as ‘ABC’ for her business. Formed in 2008, the Norwich-based business has been built up by word of mouth, but she said that winning the LBA competition would help take the firm which employs between 11 and 20 staff to the next stage.
Big Skies Food Company
Mark Ford and Zoe Denham are hoping their Diss-based venture could prove a tasty business proposition. Their gourmet ‘Snorkersnacker’ sausage roll has just won a national pork industry gold award and the company is built on the idea of using the best ingredients from under the ‘big skies’ of East Anglia.
Comms Supply is a specialists business which aims to reduce the cost of telecoms for firms and provide improved customer service. The business, which is the brainchild of EDP Future 50 member Karl Alderton, was launched in January and employs six staff with a monthly turnover rising from £15,000 to £60,000.
David Wood from Cromer-based Electrifying Cycles has a vision to turn his business into the leading electric bike company in the UK. His achievements have already caught the eye in the industry as he was this year named as one of the 30 up-and-coming movers and shakers in the cycle trade.
Formed by Julie Bishop, the aim of JobHop is to use the power of social media to help jobseekers connect with potential employers
Olive branch services
Based in Fakenham and founded by Juliet Allen, the aim of Olive Branch Services is to offer remote project office and PA support to smaller businesses. Already she has worked with clients involved in the Sheringham offshore wind farm project.
Started by Carole Osborne and Lee Nash in April 2011, osbornenash is a marketing and design agency which has already caught the eye of EDP Future 50 judges employing six people which has grown using “instinct and varying levels of donated time from local business people.”
Norwich-based chartered civil engineer Alan Wright has come up with an idea for a new low energy pump to solve low pressure problems in taps and showers.
Braving the icy winter weather, the finalists made their pitches in front of the judges as they bid to win the local round of the competition and with it the chance to a year’s worth of advertising support from Archant, publishers of the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, and a host of weekly titles, as well as mentoring from NWES, and free membership of Norfolk Chamber.
The event took place at the City College Norwich’s Start-Up lounge with each finalist presenting their vision for their business to the three judges, Kevin Horne, chief executive of NWES, Norfolk Chamber chief executive Caroline Williams, and Laura McNeil, enterprise manager at the college.
And the winner now has a chance to go on to the national final of the Newspaper Society backed competition, which includes a year’s worth of mentoring from Dragon’s Den star Caroline Williams, and £10,000 of support for the overall winner.
Caroline Williams, said she was impressed with the entrants.
“It shows that Norfolk has got some great new businesses coming through,” she said. “They have all got a great future and we all felt there were areas we could support them with, whether they won or not.”
Listen to the judges announce the winner on the audio link and read more about the winning Norfolk business in Thursday’s EDP