CAUSEWAY Enterprise Agency and its ten local business “champions” launched the £100,000 Venture Causeway competition last week and invited local businesses and start-ups to pitch for a slice of the £100,000 prize.
The competition is open to existing businesses and to anyone with a feasible business idea. T he only condition is that the business or start-up must be based in the Coleraine area.
To take part in the competition, which is also sponsored by the University of Ulster, and Coleraine Borough Council budding entrepreneurs will have to submit an application form before May 29 and if successful pitch their ideas to the ten business champions.
The champions say they are looking for ideas that require financial support and mentoring, and that can demonstrate the potential to create jobs and help grow the local economy.
Norman Lynas, chairman of the champions panel and the nine others hope to be able to help people with “big ideas and big dreams” get a chance to do something about them.
The champions are all firm believers that everyone requires a helping hand to succeed at a certain stage in life and business and have themselves in the early days benefitted from the support of a business mentor.
The business champions include: Norman Lynas; Karen Yates; Dr Mark McKinney; John Armstrong; Darren Gardiner; Jack Cassidy; Evan Reid; Kenny Bradley; Colin Mairs; and Dr Norry McBride.
They are investing their own personal money in Venture Causeway, although they are not hoping to make a big financial return on it.
There will be multiple winners, no idea is to small. While one applicant may need £400 to purchase a power washer to start their patio cleaning business another may need £20,000 to invest in their e-commerce system. As long as you have a viable business you have a great shot at winning a share of the £100,000.
“It is not really to make money,” says Lynas, “but hopefully in two, five, ten years’ time there will be a number of successful small to medium-sized businesses giving employment not only to people but to families.”
The Venture Causeway competition is open for entries until Friday, May 29.
Business owners and budding entrepreneurs are encourage d to log onto www.venturecauseway.com for information and to download an application pack.