Dragons’ Den star backs business scheme

Dragons' Den star backs business scheme

Small business owners who feel their company has something special and could really succeed given the right support might be interested in a new government initiative.

The Local Business Accelerator Scheme could be the perfect tonic for those firms worried about the possibility of needing insolvency advice.

Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden knows a thing or two about helping firms avoid a winding up order.

The self-made millionaire is an entrepreneur in her own right and now invests in a string of successful companies.

She is backing the government initiative and explained that it is vital that new firms are given the best chance of succeeding – especially in the current tough economic climate.

"This whole programme is designed to help those businesses. It does it in two ways," she said.

"It offers local business mentoring, so [we will have] local business mentors from the area working with those businesses which we select to make sure that they have got all the bases covered, not just to give them advice and guidance but also to contact, network and make sure they are doing the right thing."

Ms Meaden added that the scheme also offers bespoke advertising campaigns in local newspapers, which can be extremely useful for companies looking to increase their exposure.

"These campaigns are worth about £10,000 worth of advertising. It is really valuable stuff and very targeted, so local businesses [are] targeted to the local customer," the investor stated.

"[It is about] making sure the businesses are in the right place and have a voice to sell to their local customer."

She added that there is a good deal of help available for small firms, but the problem is often knowing where to look and who to approach for assistance – an issue the Local Business Accelerator Scheme hopes to address.

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