A pioneering competition to help small firms harness the power of the local press to grow their businesses is to be extended after a successful first year.

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The Newspaper Society last year launched its business accelerator competition as part of an industry-wide initiative to help support small businesses. Backed by business secretary Vince Cable and prime minister David Cameron the contest which was won by Yorkshire-based Ickley Brewery selected 12 finalists to compete for a chance to receive a year’s worth of free mentoring from Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden and a advertising campaign designed by a top London agency.

Among the finalists were Norwich-based energy contract management firm Indigo Swan, a member of the EDP’s Future 50, who as a local winner received free advertising support in the EDP and will also be offered mentoring support from NWES chief executive Kevin Horne.

Managing director Emily Grove said: “It’s definitely helped raise our profile. We work with companies from all over the country but in the last four to five months we have really increased the amount of local business which we do.

“We’ve been delighted to be involved, I’m disappointed not to win, but it’s been worth it and the EDP has really supported us over the last 12 months.”

This year’s competition is likely to get underway in October, with businesses again given the chance to take part.

Adrian Jeakings, chief executive of Archant publishers of the EDP, and new president of the newspaper society, the business accelerator competition had been a fantastic success.

“It’s shown the power of the press to help local businesses to hit their target audience. Lots of people have been saying the regional press is dead - this proves it isn’t.”

Deborah Meaden said: “What we were looking for were businesses which clearly understood that there was a market out there and these businesses understood that. My experience is that regional advertising absolutely works and if you have gove a product to sell, why not do it through regional advertising?”

<T> Read Indigo Swan’s blog about the business acelerator event at www.EDP24.co.uk

3 comments

  • Its a shame that this article falls short of telling more about the The Newspaper Society's Business Accelerator, and details of the finalists, and particularly the winner, which was the Ilkley Brewery. I am sure that people already know enough about Indigo Swan with the coverage it has received but surely the winning entry should be given some space? I am sure business readers and people in general would like to know more about Ilkley Brewery's entry, and why it was selected as the winner? Isn't this, in the context of the award, shooting oneself in the foot?

    Report this comment

    Mike Jones

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Its a shame that this article falls short of telling more about the The Newspaper Society's Business Accelerator, and details of the finalists, and particularly the winner, which was the Ilkley Brewery. I am sure that people already know enough about Indigo Swan with the coverage it has received but surely the winning entry should be given some space? I am sure business readers and people in general would like to know more about Ilkley Brewery's entry, and why it was selected as the winner? Isn't this, in the context of the award, shooting oneself in the foot?

    Report this comment

    Mike Jones

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Help small businesses? Thanks to the sales team I am now in debt to the tune of £800. Was promised the earth for my small business and even rang the next day of signing up to cancel as I knew I couldn't afford it. Still they turned on the sales technique promising me it was great for my business. Well I didn't get a signal enquiry from it and I have had to pay the fees on my credit card. Never again.

    Report this comment

    Ryan

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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