The hunt to find two new Nottingham retailers, who will each receive £10,000 in funding, has now been narrowed down to the final ten.
A judging panel made up of the city’s top business experts have been sorting their way through 49 entries and are now a step closer in choosing which contenders will get the prize money to help them launch or expand a retail business in Nottingham.
The unique initiative called Inspiring Retail Nottingham 2013, was launched in July and is designed to help new retail talent turn promising ideas into reality.
Inspiring Retail is an ingenious collaboration of Nottingham City Council, NBV Enterprise Solutions and five private sector organisations – Yorkshire Bank, property consultants FHP, law firm Fraser Brown, accountants Smith Cooper, creative agency RizkMcCay and PR agency Cartwright Communications.
Helen Andrews of RizkMcCay said: “The judging panel was bowled over with the number of amazing ideas for new retail outlets in the city. We have now whittled down the entries and have ten really strong applications.
“The next stage will be a chance to meet the final ten – and award two winners, one in the age 30 and under category, and one in the over-30 category.”
The competition was set up as Nottingham wanted to produce a creative scheme in spending some of the grant awarded as part of the High Street Innovation Fund, which was distributed to towns and cities following retail expert, Mary Portas’s, review of town centres.
As well as the £10,000 prize, the winners will also get the panel’s support- worth an estimated £50,000- for 12 months. Out of the ten finalists, the two winners will be picked for their ambition and motivation to develop a sustainable and innovative business, which will add value to the city centre offer.
The remaining ten shortlisted finalists will pitch their business ideas to the Inspiring Retail ‘dragons den-style’ panel on 13 November.
The winners will be revealed at a presentation evening on 26 November.
Councilor Nick McDonald of the city council, said: ‘’This is a truly unique and exciting collaboration between the city and the private sector partners who are all passionate about helping new businesses – and breathing new life into Nottingham’s shopping streets.’’
The Inspiring Retail competition has also gained additional supporters; with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, Nottingham Trent University, the Nottingham BID and media partner the Nottingham Post backing Inspiring Retail.