October 19, 2011

Dragons Den star backs Local Business Accelerators scheme

by Jan Harris

Entrepreneur Deborah Meaden of Dragon’s Den fame is the national ambassador for the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) scheme which launched today.

The scheme which is headed by the Newspaper Society with support from the David Cameron, offers £15 million of free advertising to fledgling UK businesses.

The initiative aims to boost local businesses and to showcase the benefits of local press advertising in helping SMEs grow.

An £3.5 million ad campaign to promote the scheme is being run by Frank PR.

The campaign will feature print ads designed by St Luke’s creative agency and will also include a search for the UK’s most promising local businesses, with 500 regional and local newspapers taking part in finding the winner.

The regional winners will receive professional advice from local business mentors and free advertising space in local media, while an overall winner will receive a year’s mentoring, business support and advice from Deborah Meaden.

Businesses who wish to take part in the scheme can find further information at www.accelerateme.co.uk .

This morning Deborah Meaden told BBC Radio 1 that not enough young people are applying for apprenticeships because they are not thought of as ‘cool’ jobs.

She is calling for schools to promote apprenticeships to pupils, instead of focusing so intently on more academic options such as university.

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