Nine regional winners will each receive £50,000 as well as free support and guidance to help turn their business idea into a reality. The competition is open to existing businesses as well as those who simply have a fantastic new idea and the drive to make it happen.
Steve Cooper, Managing Director of Barclays Business, said: “The Take One Small Step competition changes lives. It celebrates people with ambition, passion and, most importantly, a great business idea, and gives them the cash to help turn their dream into a reality.
“The business idea could be a lifelong ambition or a recent brainwave. It could be a personal experience or just a dream. Even a revolutionary concept that changes the world. This competition is a great opportunity, and I would urge anyone with a great business idea to step forward.”
It’s the second year for the competition, which in 2010 put the spotlight on 3,600 entrants, which between them attracted over 46,000 public votes. Many of the entries received incredible public exposure, with the competition website receiving over 650,000 hits.
Stephen Britt of Fast Forward, one of last year’s winners from Southern England, said: “The money was and still is a great help. It allowed me access to products and services I just wouldn’t have been able to afford on my own. I’ve primarily used the money to develop my product, including securing a patent which has been really costly.”
Stephen added: “I think everyone should really take the opportunity to submit a video. I know there were a few entrants last year who decided not to include one and personally I think they really suffered. My top tip would be to think about what you want to get across in the video and ensure all your key messaging is in there to bring it to life.”
From the overall entries the panel of regional judges will shortlist a total of 27 business ideas – three each from nine different regions.
Then it’s then over to the public to vote for their favourite idea. The nine winners will each receive £50,000 cash to put towards their business and expert advice for a year
Shortlisted individuals will be encouraged to drum up support for their idea by enlisting the support of family, friends, colleagues and their community to help get behind them and win.