arc Start-up Competition launch - £30,000 business start-up finance up for grabs
Published by Ashley-Rae for East Thames Housing Group in Communities
Arc business competition
As the lasting legacy of London 2012 continues to generate debate, charity Business in the Community has today joined forces with Social Enterprise UK, East Thames Group and Fredericks Foundation to unearth the next big social enterprise stars in The Olympic Host Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Waltham Forest and Barking & Dagenham.
The arc Start-up Competition will award one winner in each of the boroughs an interest free loan of up to £5,000, as well as a package of support to help them to turn business ideas into reality.
Social enterprises are businesses with a social and environmental purpose. They are uniquely placed to both tackle pressing social issues and create employment and jobs in deprived areas with research showing that they are twice as likely as mainstream businesses to have reported growth in the last year*.
The arc Start up Competition is open to any individual over the age of 18, living in one of the six Olympic host boroughs with an innovative and inspiring business idea. Entrants must demonstrate that their business idea will create vital local jobs, is financially viable and will help tackle pressing social or environmental issues in their community.
It has been launched today to mark one year of arc, Business in the Community’s campaign to support social enterprise growth and job creation in the Olympic host boroughs by connecting social entrepreneurs with expert support from business partners Deloitte, BP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Intercontinental Hotel Groups, Freshfields and Visa Europe.
Commenting Jane Pritchard, Enterprise Director, Business in the Community said ‘This competition is all about unearthing the untapped entrepreneurial talent in East London. Since we launched arc this time last year, we have been privileged to work with some extremely inspirational entrepreneurs and seen first-hand the difference they are making to their communities, as well as their growth potential when given the right support. We believe that this competition will inspire budding entrepreneurs with the spark of an idea to make their idea happen.”
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise UK said “Our recent research has proven beyond doubt the way that social enterprises are starting up and thriving in the UK’s deprived communities. We’re delighted to be part of a competition that will reward social enterprises in the Olympic host boroughs. Some of the UK’s leading social enterprises played an important role in London 2012 and this is an important legacy project that could help us find some of the next generation of superstar social enterprises.”
Paul Barry-Walsh, Founder of Fredericks Foundation, who will be providing the start up finance for all winners said: ‘We’ve been offering loans to entrepreneurs unable to get finance from regular lenders for over a decade. We’ve recently launched our operation in London, and have been fired up by the genuine entrepreneurship across boroughs like these. Sometimes people only need a small loan, ongoing support and someone to believe in them to make a real success of a new business, which changes both lives and local communities.”
Corrine Hutcheson, Enterprise Manager, East Thames Group said, “On behalf of East Thames I’d like to thank Business in the Community for involving us in delivering this life changing project. The communities in which we work are oozing with entrepreneurs waiting to make their mark and I can’t wait to see how the winners of the competition will help keep the Olympic legacy alive.”
The competition prize includes:
- An interest free loan of up to £5,000
- Mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs and business experts
- Membership of Social Enterprise UK, the UK’s national body for social enterprise
- A package of practical support including office space and access to further finance
The arc Start-up Competition is open for entries from now until Friday 2 November 2012. To enter, applicants must provide a short written description of their business idea. Each applicant will receive up to 2 hours of one-one-one business support from the organizers to develop their idea. Up to ten entrants will be shortlisted per borough and invited to pitch their idea to a panel of business and social enterprise experts, who will select one winner per borough.
To enter or for more information contact: Hitesh.Mistry@east-thames.co.uk