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Virgin Money presents 'Choclateas' with sponsorship of Newcastle United

26/04/2013

  • ‘Choclateas’ has won the opportunity to become Newcastle United’s sponsor for the day
  • Virgin Money has donated the prize of a sponsorship package for Newcastle United’s televised home fixture against Liverpool FC
  • The start-up business was selected by the public as part of the ‘Big Kick Off’ campaign, under the Start-Up Loans scheme in the North East and Cumbria
Entrepreneurial twin-sisters Jodi and Stella Kean, founders of Choclateas

‘Choclateas’ has emerged victorious from a short-list of five new start-up businesses to win the opportunity to become Newcastle United’s ‘sponsor for the day’ during their prestigious televised home fixture against Liverpool on Saturday 27 April. Choclateas came out on top following a public vote under the ‘Big Kick Off’ campaign, which closed at the end of March. The campaign was launched as part of the Start-Up Loans scheme in the North East and Cumbria.

Virgin Money has donated the prize of a sponsorship package to enable Choclateas to proudly publicise its name to over 50,000 people at St James’ Park and to a live TV audience of millions more. The sponsorship package includes: LED animated perimeter hoardings around the pitch, branded pitch-side hoardings, a match-day programme advert and distributed stadium posters, plus some online publicity.

Virgin Money’s sponsorship of Newcastle United will end at the close of the current season and even though there is only one home Premier League game remaining after this match, the bank is making the gesture as part of its commitment to the Start-Up Loans initiative, which aims to encourage entrepreneurialism and help create new business in the North East and Cumbria.

Paul Lloyd, Marketing Director for Virgin Money said: “At Virgin Money we’re on a quest to build a better kind of bank. That's why we are supporting North East start-up businesses through the Start-Up Loans initiative. It’s brilliant to see all of these entrepreneurial, start-up companies setting out on their journey.

“We congratulate Choclateas and happily stand aside to let them take over some of our prime sponsorship assets for this high-profile game against Liverpool. It will be watched by over 50,000 at St James’ and millions of people, throughout the land, on TV. We hope it works well for them and brings them a lot of valuable business.”

Choclateas is run by young entrepreneurial twin sisters Jodi and Stella Kean. Based in Newcastle and set-up with the help of a £11,000 Start-Up Loan, it makes natural and organic chocolate teas flavoured with extracts such as chilli, vanilla and much more.

Jodi said: "Stella and I are over the moon. We’re so grateful to all who voted for us and to Virgin Money for such a fantastic opportunity to promote our company at the big game. My advice to anyone out there who has an idea is just to go for it. If you don’t, you’ll never know how much of a success your business could be."

One of the shortlisted runners up was ‘Bloom Studio’, run by Martin Davies and set-up in Middlesbrough with the help of a £25,000 Start-Up Loan. Bloom produces bespoke, high quality and engaging animated films for any medium or platform. They swiftly put aside any disappointment they may have felt in not winning and seized the business opportunity to demonstrate their own special skills in producing the LED animated hoarding images for Choclateas – another great example of collaboration between North East businesses.

The other three unlucky shortlisted companies were; Montagu DIY & Hardware, R-House and AIM Dance Group.

Start-Up Loans are delivered in the North East and Cumbria through Project North East – supported by a consortium including Virgin Money, Virgin Unite and The Northern Rock Foundation. The initiative is aimed at young entrepreneurs between 18 and 30 years of age. Loan sizes are between £250 and £25,000, with an average of around £5,000.

There has been a recent call for more young entrepreneurs to come forward with their business plan and make an application, as there remains around £700,000 of funding; made available by The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS); to be awarded in the North East and Cumbria during 2013.

To find out more about the Start-Up Loans scheme in the North East and how to apply, young entrepreneurs should visit www.startuploansnortheast.co.uk.

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Media contacts
Virgin Money Press Office
Tel: 0191 279 4676
email: press.office@virginmoney.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Start-Up Loans scheme for young entrepreneurs was formally launched at Virgin Money’s Gosforth headquarters on Tuesday 20 November 2012. Virgin

Virgin Money has partnered with Virgin Unite, The Northern Rock Foundation (NRF) and Project North East (PNE) to form a consortium in the delivery of ‘Start-Up Loans’ – with PNE being the consortium partner responsible for arranging and making the loan.

The consortium also provides a training, mentoring and engagement programme, to enable unemployed young people and young people from the region’s deprived areas to learn how to run a business and to find out more about the Start-Up Loans programme.

PNE is regulated under the consumer credit act and is responsible for making the loans and administering the full lending process. PNE has nearly thirty years experience of successfully undertaking this type of work in the region, partnering organisations such as the Sainsbury family trusts and Royal Dutch Shell. More information about PNE can be found at www.pne-enterprise.org and information on start-up loans can be found at www.startuploansnortheast.co.uk

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), through Start-Up Loans, is providing funding of £1 million, to be offered in the form of small business start-up loans in the North East and Cumbria. The initiative is aimed at young entrepreneurs between 18 and 30 years of age. Loan sizes are between £250 and £25,000, with an average of around £5,000.