Mentors set with top tips

George Cowcher Chamber of commerce
George Cowcher Chamber of commerce

EXPERT business advisers are preparing to be personal mentors for three victorious fledgling firms during the Derbyshire Times’ Local Business Accelerator competition.

The newspaper is running the competition with advertising packages worth thousands of pounds and mentoring deals as prizes for the top three winners to raise their profiles and boost business.

Derbyshire chamber of commerce chief executive George Cowcher and Clowne Enterprise chief executive Paul Davies will be joining a judging panel and offering guidance and advice for our three LBA winners over four months.

Mr Cowcher said: “I’m passionate about the development of new business talent.

“I’ve seen how many businesses have grown from small beginnings into some of our largest employers and best-known brands.

“I’m looking forward to passing on my experience and expertise to the businesses who will create jobs and drive economic growth in Derbyshire and beyond.”

Mr Cowcher is also chairman of the International Trade Group and the British Chamber of Commerce and was the North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive between 2002 and 2006.

Clowne Enterprise Centre’s Paul Davies helped develop the Clowne centre, on Station Road, after it was originally launched as Bizz Fizz in 2004 with Government funding and he was crowned with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise earlier this year.

The centre has advised over 450 people, helped 140 businesses to start up and created over 170 new jobs and it is backed by Bolsover District Council.

Mr Davies said: “Promotion is a vital part of any new business so it’s great to see newspapers involved in supporting companies in this way. I look forward to my role as a DT judge and mentor during the LBA scheme.”

As well as mentoring, The Derbyshire Times’ LBA competition winner will receive an advertising package worth £18,104, while the second and third places will land £8,959 and £6,779 in free advertising respectively.

The competition was launched on October 20 as part of the Newspaper Society’s LBA national scheme and companies fitting the right criteria are urged to enter before a November 14 deadline. For entry details see the accompanying DT Business Times’ article.