Launch of Rising Star 2020

Each year, Marketing Derby, the city and county’s inward investment agency, gives the opportunity for an up-and-coming entrepreneur to receive a complimentary year of Bondholder membership along with local publicity and invitations to must-attend events.

In 2016, the accolade was awarded to University of Derby graduate Edward Hollands owner of start-up business and Dragon’s Den success story DrivenMedia. Ed says “Being the first Rising Star was a real game-changer for me. The chance to network with the business leaders of Derby and knowing I had their full support was a fantastic opportunity and really set me off on the right foot”.

This year, the competition was so high, that two local businesses were awarded the title of Rising Star; Sonia Sohal who owns The Fit, and Abbi Burns who runs Darley Dance Productions.

To apply for 2020, see below.

Abbi, owner of Darley Dance Productions said “Winning the Rising Star award has been truly transformational both for my business and for myself as a business owner. When you have your head down and work constantly on your business you sometimes get lost trying to work out how to make your business work. Winning the Rising Star award made me lift my head from my laptop and get out there.

"It’s been amazing to meet so many inspirational business people and to learn from them about what it really takes to move a company forward. That in turn has not only helped me build my confidence but also allowed me to gain clarity around my own business and see where I fit into an exciting city like Derby. It has been an incredible year! I feel like this year will forever be a turning point for my business and for that I will always be grateful to Marketing Derby.”

Sonia, owner of The Fit adds "When I got the phone call to say I had won the Rising Star award, I couldn't believe it! It was the most amazing feeling and the best way to start the year.

A lot of my clients are Bondholders, and I can see the positive impact this has on their businesses. I feel very lucky to now be a part of that!

Being the Rising Star alongside Abbi has also given me a confidence boost, enabling me to talk more about the world of fashion and looking your best."

To apply to be the Marketing Derby Rising Star for 2020, please email: by the 6th January 2020 and outline your business idea, a brief background of your story so far and why you would like to become the next Rising Star.

The applications will be shortlisted and successful applicants invited for a short interview and a winner announced at the Annual Business Event, to be held at Derby Theatre, on 17th January 2020.

Applicants must be in their first year of business and willing to attend at least ten Bondholder events during their year as Rising Star.