Deadline looms for top Dragons’ Den-style competition

Time is running out for start-up businesses to enter a competition which could see them win a cash prize, valuable free advertising and mentoring from Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.

The deadline for entries into the Newspaper Society’s Local Business Accelerators is this Friday (November 16). Businesses between one and five-years-old in Barking and Dagenham have the chance to win free advertising with the Post and mentoring support from a local business professional.

Winners will then be entered into a nationwide competition where they could scoop �10,000 from the Business Growth Fund, mentoring from business guru Deborah and support from a top advertising company.

Firms are encouraged to enter at

Jamie Banks, an influential committee member of Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce and Mark Kass, head of Enterprise and Economic Development at Barking Enterprise Centre, will help select winners.

Meanwhile, LBA has gained backing from government business and enterprise minister Michael Fallon, who spoke about the value of advertising in local papers.

He said: “There are about 4.8million small and medium sized enterprises in the UK – that’s around 99 per cent of all businesses. They are the lifeblood of our economy and that’s why we feel it’s so important to support Local Business Accelerators.

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“Local press can help businesses reach more than 30million people who rely on local papers for information about events and services in their area each week.”

With the final week underway, a host of additional prizes have been announced for the national winner.

Free membership of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) for a year, free business advice from the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) valued at �2,000, and an iPad from accountancy firm Freeagent are all up for grabs.

Freeagent is also offering a year’s free access to its accountancy software to each of the national finalists, valued at �300 per finalist.

To enter visit