Marketing Derby is calling on up-and-coming entrepreneurs to enter its annual Rising Star competition, which aims to give a helping hand to fledgling businesses.
Each year, the city’s inward investment agency, gives the opportunity for a new business to receive a complimentary year of Bondholder membership, along with local publicity, invitations to must-attend events and access to 350 local business leaders.
To coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week, which began on Monday, entries are now being accepted to find the Rising Star for 2024.
This year, the title of Rising Star went to Upbeat Clean, a commercial cleaning business, which provides employment for refugees.
Since winning the title, the social enterprise has gone on to secure a number of major contracts.
Michael Gladwell, head of enterprise at Upbeat Clean, said: “Winning the Rising Star Award has been transformational for Upbeat Clean and has enabled us to provide life-changing employment to lots more individuals than we imagined possible.
“The increased profile that the award has brought has enabled us to double in size in the last six months.”
Established by Upbeat Communities, Upbeat Clean was set up to address some of the challenges faced by refugees in finding a first job in the UK.
It works across the East Midlands, including Derby, supporting refugees and those seeking asylum to integrate into life in the UK and empowering them to thrive.
It combines an excellent cleaning service with life-changing employment, enabling Derby’s refugee community to access training and rebuild their lives through real living wage employment.
It supports refugees from all over the world who come to Derby – and particularly in the past year or so, those who have come from war-torn Ukraine.
Lindsey Hatfield, commercial development manager at Marketing Derby, said: “We know from previous winners that the Rising Star accolade can be a serious game changer to the winner and their business.
“We’ve been delighted to see how Upbeat Clean has flourished, with its Rising Star status helping it secure many new contracts and create new jobs in the process.
“Each year, the number of applications gets bigger and bigger – and I’m once again looking forward to reading about all of our up-and-coming businesses.”
To apply to be the Marketing Derby Rising Star for 2024, please e-mail Lindsey.firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 15 January.
Applicants should send in an outline their business idea, a brief background of their story so far and why they would like to become the next Rising Star.
The applications will be short-listed, and successful applicants invited for a short interview.
The winner will be announced at Marketing Derby’s Annual Business Event in February.
Applicants must be in their first 18 months of business and willing to attend at least 10 Bondholder events during their year as Rising Star.