We can accelerate your new business: Free advertising and advice on offer for three small firms

Mentors: from the left, Roger Harvey, Barbara Harbinson and Steven Leigh. Picture: Jim Fitton

Mentors: from the left, Roger Harvey, Barbara Harbinson and Steven Leigh. Picture: Jim Fitton

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The Courier today begins a scheme to boost Calderdale business by offering help to three of the area’s most dynamic fledgling enterprises.

A new competition will see three small firms earn a fantastic free advertising package with the Courier.

Dragons' Den Den judge Deborah Meaden

Dragons' Den Den judge Deborah Meaden

And this will be backed up by a series of mentoring sessions with three of the district’s leading business figures

The Courier has joined newspapers across the country in delivering an unprecedented £15m of free advertising across the nation to help firms progress.

The bold initiative, backed by Dragons’ Den judge Deborah Meaden, is called Local Business Accelerators. Nearly 500 local press publications, including the Courier, are joining forces to promote the strength and value of local newspapers for local businesses and communities.

The Courier is searching for Calderdale’s most promising young businesses and will help them accelerate their success with top professional advice from local business mentors, plus a substantial allocation of free advertising space.

What’s more, one lucky business picked from the hundreds of regional winners across the country will get individual mentoring sessions from the LBA national ambassador Deborah Meaden, who will become a consultant and mentor to the business for one year.

Deborah Meaden said: “I’ve seen the unique contribution that local press makes to the success of local businesses time and again with my own ventures.

“In this age of enterprise it has never been more important to drive awareness about the value of local marketing for a fledgling business, which is why I’m so proud to support Local Business Accelerators and help build thriving and industrious communities.”

This week the Courier launches its Local Business Accelerators search in Calderdale.

It’s open to all businesses that are active in the local community, between one and three years old and full of potential.

They may have a great idea or product, or have even found a new market. They’re the kind of businesses that will create new jobs and individually they will create pride in the community.

If you run such a business, or know anyone who does, and want the chance to receive invaluable business support and advertising space in the Courier, visit www.accelerateme.co.uk for more information on the scheme and how to enter. Entries close November 14, 2011.

We have recruited three prominent and experienced members of the local business community Roger Harvey, Steven Leigh and Barbara Harbinson.

They will work alongside Courier deputy editor John Kenealy and form the judging panel.

They will review and shortlist entries before awarding three lucky local businesses the prize of free advertising and business advice.

They’ll also be looking out for that one overall star business to put forward to be in with a chance to gain Deborah Meaden as a mentor during 2012.

Visit www.accelerateme.co.uk for details of how to enter

Roger Harvey:

“I am pleased to support the Courier in this very important initiative. I hope that I can use my experience gained in developing Harveys, but also with working with many start up businessess as Chair of Action Halifax.

In today’s economic climate we are all going to rely on young businesses expanding and offering job opportunities to our young people .”

Geraldine Allinson, President of the Newspaper Society:

“The UK needs to grow local businesses like never before, and local businesses need local press. No other medium has the power, local knowledge and influence to activate a scheme like Local Business Accelerators. It’s where local newspapers have always made a real difference: by helping to build strong local businesses and encourage thriving communities.”

Prime Minister David Cameron:

“The recovery we need is a private sector-led recovery a recovery with ‘Made in Britain’ stamped all over it. We need to see a country where new businesses are starting up on every street, in every town; where entrepreneurs are everywhere”

Visit www.accelerateme.co.uk for details of how to enter