Barclays £450,000 Boost for This Year’s Best British Business Ideas

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Barclays is launching its ‘Take One Small Step’ competition which aims to find Britain’s best business ideas and reward them with a total £450,000 cash injection.

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.

The Take One Small Step competition is back to reward nine regional businesses or individuals from across Great Britain with £50,000* each for great business ideas.

Barclays is launching its ‘Take One Small Step’ competition which aims to find Britain’s best business ideas and reward them with a total £450,000 cash injection.

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 brief is broad – the 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.”

Final day for entry to the competition is 27th April 2011, with entry available online at http://www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk.

Last year’s winners backing UK SMEs
It’s the second year for the competition, which in 2010 put the spotlight on an extraordinary 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 to life your idea.”

Britain’s biggest and best business competition
Information about the online competition, or to register and enter, is available on http://www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk. On the site entrants put their inspirational idea into words to catch the judges’ eye, and they can also choose to make a short video clip to bring their entry 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.

Crucially, 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.
Complementing this, the competition will also be supported with free business seminars focussing on improving online skills and doing business online. The website also contains information about the special Take One Small Step bus which is touring the UK in support of the competition.

*Terms and conditions apply. We'll deposit the first £10,000 into a Barclays Business Account. After that our Barclays Business Managers will work with winners to help them make the best use of the money within the first 12 months to boost their business idea.

Notes to editors:

For full competition details visit http://www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk.
Entry is open to residents of Great Britain aged 18 and over at the time of entry excluding regional winners from the 2010 Take One Small Step competition. Your business or proposed business/trading address must be in Great Britain (if the business is or would be a company, then the company's registered address must be in Great Britain).
Full terms and conditions on the Take One Small Step website.

For further information:

Fishburn Hedges
020 7839 4321
james(dot)hoyle(at)77pr(dot)co(dot)uk

Michael O’Toole                                     
Barclays Press Office
Tel: 020 7116 6145                                 
michael(dot)otoole(at)barclays(dot)com                 
jenna(dot)peyto(at)77pr(dot)co(dot)uk
lucy(dot)varah(at)77pr(dot)co(dot)uk
Georgia(dot)wilkinson(at)77pr(dot)co(dot)uk
Aimee(dot)jacobs(at)77pr(dot)co(dot)uk

About Barclays Business
Barclays Business is the business banking arm of Barclays. It has over 700,000 - customers that are a mixture of start ups, sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.

Barclays services to SMEs include:

  •     A choice of business accounts that they can tailor to their needs and the provision of up to two years free banking to start-ups, subject to remaining in credit.
  •     Day to day business banking support through an award winning team of Business Managers who are available over the telephone for everyday and urgent banking needs during the daytime, evenings and weekends.
  •     A support line that customers can use to talk directly to a Barclays lending specialist to discuss additional financing options.
  •     Free consultations for businesses with a local accountant, marketing expert and solicitor to advise on topics such as the best legal status, how to advertise or draft supply contracts.
  •     A free nationwide business seminar and workshop programme. This is designed to help business owners network and gain practical help on relevant challenges such as marketing, trading online or how to generate more business profits. Over 12,000 delegates have attended one of Barclays 800 business seminars this year.
  •     Business management software that helps business customers complete their account work quickly and efficiently; support their hiring efforts; help back up their business data securely; and avoid late payment and bad debts.

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