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Calling All Young Entrepreneurs: Rotherham Needs You!

posted 22 Jan 2010, 07:24 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 22 Jan 2010, 07:38 ]
Originally Posted 13th May 2009
The borough’s most inspiring young business men and women are being urged to showcase their skills by entering a regional award specifically aimed at nurturing and rewarding young talent.

The call comes from Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) as it launches its Rotherham Young Entrepreneur Award 2009.

Awards organiser and judge Geoff Link, enterprise manager at RiDO said: “There’s never been a more important time to nurture and invest in young home-grown talent than the current economic times we find ourselves in.

“We all know how hard it is out there. But that makes it even more important for us to reward and promote the brave young people who are building their own futures through their own start-up businesses.

“Entrepreneurs are important for the future of this borough and it’s our job to make sure they get the support and encouragement they need and deserve. Rotherham needs you!”

Back for the fourth year, the awards have consistently uncovered a wealth of young talent that had previously been invisible.

Last year Gavin Winder and Joshua Abbotts won the Best New Start Up category for their graphic and web design business Prototype Creative when they were both just 26.
The Barnsley College graduates now have a string of corporate clients – and won a lot of valuable new business as a direct result of last year’s win.

Gavin said: “We entered the awards to prove to ourselves that what we had and what we do, is a viable product. The result showed that it was – and that other people believed we were worthy of being Young Entrepreneurs of the year. It was a great feeling.

“We earned recognition amongst other local businesses from the awards and the publicity that followed.

“We also followed up the awards with a small campaign to Chamber members and gained quite a bit of work from it. I’d say to any young person that’s set up a business to enter. It’s a great confidence boost, raises your profile and can lead to great things.”

In 2007, 22-year-old ice sculptor Matthew Ainsworth took home the top award and put it towards a 20ft x 20ft walk in freezer to take his business to another level. Despite the downturn, his business ExQuisite Ice is still in going from strength to strength. Last year he took on his first employee.

The awards are part of the Rotherham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, and are sponsored by Rotherham Enterprise Network (REN), Business Link, the Government-funded Solutions for Business and other partners.

This year the overall winner will receive £1,000, from award sponsors UK Steel Enterprise, with the four category winners taking home £500 each from the other sponsors Business Link, Yorkshire Forward and the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber.

This year’s entrants can choose from the following categories: Best New Start-up (trading between six months and two years), Best Established Business (trading more than two years), Best Business IT/Technology and Business Most Determined to Succeed.

Runners up in the four categories will also receive £250 to put towards their business.

Entry forms are available by calling 01709 372099, by visiting your local library, or
download one by clicking here.

All applicants must submit a completed application to the judges by July 17 2009.

The overall winner is to be announced at the Chamber awards ceremony in October.