Let’s step on the gas!

YOUNG businesses haven’t been shy in putting their names forward for an attractive free mentoring and advertising package.

A range of one-to-three year old firms in the Luton area have entered the Local Business Acclerators scheme, which is a national campaign backed by newspapers to give the economy a much-needed shot in the arm.

Firms putting themselves forward in the Luton and Dunstable area have been in sectors including training and development, video production, a registered charity, printing, a bus company, a lifestyle business and a retailer.

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Successful applicants are also in with a chance of winning a year’s mentoring with Dragons’ Den judge Deborah Meaden – the campaign’s national ambassador.

Businesses can apply for a place on the scheme by filling in a user-friendly entry form on the www.accelerateme.co.uk website until the November 14 deadline.

After the deadline, a shortlist will be created before a winner is announced following a series of judging.

One of the Luton/Dunstable mentors is Annette White, sales and marketing director of PC Help Centre in High Street South, Dunstable.

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She said: “I personally believe in the value of mentoring and just what it can bring to you personally and to your business.

“I was very fortunate to have a mentor for many years while working within a corporate environment that allowed me to gain new skills, gain in confidence and grow as an individual.

“I think it is really important that I can now repay that back in helping others, being a positive influence or just to share knowledge and experiences.”

Mentor Richard Cooper, director of ASA Business Development & Quality Management Systems, also in Dunstable, said: “Mentoring is a very powerful development tool that can be applied to individuals, small groups and entire organisations. It is a very effective process that can improve every aspect of business life.”

He added that mentors are a cost effective way of introducing improvement while advertising and marketing is imperative for all business types.