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New "Virgin Money £1,000 business challenge" launches

30/09/2013

  • Open to entrepreneurs aged 18 and over
  • £1,000 cash prize to be won, together with a marketing package worth up to £5,000
  • Competition closes at 12noon on 3 October

Virgin Money, in association with Project North East Group, Virgin Unite, Start-Up Loans and Metro Radio, are giving entrepreneurs in the North East the opportunity to win £1,000 cash, a business marketing package worth up to £5,000 and a Virgin Money mentor.

The competition is open to entrepreneurs aged 18 and over, whether they just have a great business idea or are in their first 12-months of trading. To enter, hopefuls should enter their name, date of birth, email address and describe their business idea in no more than 300 words. They can also bring their pitch to life by using social media channels such as YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare or Skype. The eventual winner will be chosen by the public.

A shortlist of eight will get the chance to pitch their business to a panel of business experts from Virgin Money, Project North East, Virgin Unite and Metro Radio, and three talented finalists will then get the chance to canvas for votes via social media.

Pete Wood, Virgin Money’s Head of Social Enterprise Projects, including the Start-Up Loans scheme in the North East and Cumbria, said: “We are delighted to be able to support driven young business minds in new and innovative ways, and backing this challenge is part of that.

“We are confident that the competition will be tough as there is so much emerging business talent in the region. It should be a really exciting few weeks and we are looking forward to revealing the winner and seeing their business become a vibrant new company in the marketplace over the coming months.”

The Start-Up Loans scheme in the North East and Cumbria is delivered through a consortium including Virgin Money, Virgin Unite, The Northern Rock Foundation (NRF) and Project North East (PNE) – with PNE being the consortium partner responsible for arranging and making the loans.

The scheme continues to open doors for entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 who have a great business idea. Loans range from £500 to £25,000 with new ‘Lean Start-Up Loans’, of up to £1,000, aimed at those who would like to carry out market research before launching, or need a bit of a push to begin trading. With funding still to be awarded in the North East and Cumbria during 2013, successful applicants can benefit from Virgin Money’s mentoring support and Project North East’s many years’ working specifically with young business people.

To find out more about the Start-Up Loans scheme in the North East, as well as the new ‘Lean’ loans and how to apply, young entrepreneurs should visit startuploansnortheast.co.uk.

Please read the full terms and conditions before entering the competition.


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For further information

Virgin Money Press Office
Tel: 0191 279 4676
Email: press.office@virginmoney.com

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

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 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), through Start-Up Loans, is providing funding 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.

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.