Pioneering British entrepreneurs could be in for up to £25 million in funding following the launch of a unique, high profile national initiative by Bank of Scotland Corporate - the Entrepreneur Challenge.
The Bank will be making the funding package available entirely free of interest and arrangement fees for a period of three years. For each of five regions across the UK, a sum of £5 million is being provided. One company in each region will succeed in obtaining the funding package. It will be used by the successful applicants to help turn exceptional business plans into profitable reality.
Bank of Scotland Corporate is inviting applications from established businesses who meet specific entry criteria. Applicants will be existing established companies with a turnover of at least £2 million per annum and at least two years’ sustained growth in sales, revenue or profit. The applicants must also be based in the UK and operating in a substantial UK or global market and driven by a highly motivated and able management team
Bank of Scotland Corporate is supported by some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, including John Duffield of New Star Asset Management and Reading FC Chairman John Madejski, to help judge the applications and decide which businesses will share the funding pot.
How the competition works
Applicants will enter the Entrepreneur Challenge in five regions across the UK - Scotland and Northern Ireland; London; Midlands and Mid Wales; North of England and North Wales; South of England and South Wales.
Each regional finalist will be given the opportunity to present their business idea to the judging panel and explain why their business should receive the overall regional prize. The judges will be looking for real entrepreneurial spirit evidenced through a winning business idea. Each group of finalists will then be invited to a prestigious event in their own region where the successful entrepreneur will be announced.
A funding pot of up to £5m is being provided for each region. The five regional winners will go forward to a national final to be held in December. In addition to their funding, the overall Bank of Scotland Corporate Entrepreneur of the Year will receive four days of mentoring from a renowned entrepreneur.
Peter Cummings, Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland Corporate, said:
“Bank of Scotland Corporate is the bank for entrepreneurs – we’ve built our reputation on it. Now, with the Entrepreneur Challenge, we're demonstrating our commitment by backing a new generation of entrepreneurs. By encouraging enterprising companies, we hope to see new jobs and new wealth created in our economy.”
Each region will have its own individual judging panel which includes a number of distinguished business people. Each has created businesses through sheer entrepreneurial spirit:
Scotland and Northern Ireland: Akmal Khushi (Jacobs and Turner – Trespass)
Deirdrie Romanes (Dunfermline Press)
London: Ray O'Rourke (Laing O'Rourke Group plc)
John Duffield (New Star Asset Management)
Midlands and Mid Wales: Ranjit Singh (Bosparan Holdings Ltd)
Bob Edmiston (IM Group)
North of England and North Wales: Brian Kennedy (Latium)
South of England and South Wales: John Madejski Reading FC
Peter Cullum (Towergate Partnership Limited)
Accompanying these well known business figures on the judging panels will be senior representatives from Bank of Scotland Corporate. The Entrepreneur Challenge is also benefiting from the expertise of Deloitte who will be joining the judging panels