Pictured above: 2021 start up winner Molly Stevenson centre from Littlemore Candle Company with new main business mentor Sarah Edwards far right outside Blenheim Palace
Blenheim is inviting local entrepreneurs and new businesses to take part in a start-up scheme aimed at boosting their chances of success.
Working with start-up mentors and entrepreneurs, the Oxfordshire estate has put together its own competition designed to provide support and advice to new locally-based firms.
The competition is open to any business, which is less than two years old or has fewer than five employees, is based within 20 miles of Blenheim, and can provide something which could be stocked in their shops or cafes.
Applications will need to be submitted by 4 July and the successful entrants will then have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Blenheim’s senior management team on 13 July.
After undergoing presentation training, they will take part in a final pitch on 20 July when the winning applicant will be selected and awarded with a contract to supply their products to the Estate’s retail or catering outlets.
In addition to the contract, the winner will also receive ongoing tips and advice from expert business mentors along with members of the Blenheim management team.
Dominic Hare, CEO at Blenheim, said “Since launching the start-up scheme we have seen how vitally important it is to encourage and to support new businesses.
“As well as offering advice and expertise we can showcase their products to a massive new audience in our shops."
Last year the competition attracted more than 25 entrants of which six went through to the final pitching process.
The winner of the 2021 competition was Littlemore Candle Company, a candlemaker from Long Wittenham who create unique finished products and have ethical and sustainable production processes.
Among last year’s finalists was Sarah Edwards, who was runner-up, and is now part of the judging panel and will be the main business mentor.
As well as more than 35 years’ experience as a journalist, Sarah is a PR consultant for start-ups and small businesses and was a visiting lecturer at The University of Westminster where she facilitated PR, media and communications workshops at post grad level for students about to start their own businesses.
"As a finalist in last year’s competition and having been through the process myself I am looking forward to offering my own experience and support to the entrepreneurs,” she said.
Blenheim is committed to providing local start-up businesses with support and a busy marketplace to showcase their products as part of our strategic goals to trebling our economic contribution to the local community within 10 years.