Want £10 for your business growth idea?

The £10,000 Business Growth Idea Competition has been set up to encourage entrepreneurs who have enterprising ideas to boost economic growth in the UK.

Lawrence Tomlinson, Serial Entrepreneur in Residence at  DBIS is giving  away his £10,000 salary to whoever submits the best growth idea. He wants to hear your innovative ideas, big or small, on  what practical steps the Government could take to generate growth.

In return, alongside the £10k prize, successful applicants will also receive  mentoring from Lawrence on their own business aspirations.  Lawrence will then bring your idea to the attention of Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business.

Entrepreneurs who have ideas for business growth may submit an entry. They may be in their pre-start or starting up phase or running an existing business that has growth plans.

The competition will run until the end of the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Week UK campaign, which takes place 18th -24th  November 2013 and the winner will be announced on the 22nd  November 2013. For more information please see: http://www.lntgroup.co.uk/competition

£5,000 plus valuable support for Young Ventures

BUDDING enterprises have the opportunity to pitch for investment and support via a Dragons’ Den-style competition launched by Advanced Digital Dynamics, a North Yorkshire-based IT supplier specialising in computer hardware and data destruction.

QU2, Leeds Metropolitan University’s hub for high growth businesses, is supporting the venture in which 10 shortlisted companies will present their goals and vision to a judging panel which includes Margaret Wood MBE, founder of niche manufacturer ICW, on September 26.

Entries are welcome from businesses founded in the last three years. Following the pitch, three successful entrants will each be awarded a £5,000 investment boost from ADD along with business mentoring from its directors. QU2 will also offer the winners a year’s free access to its business accelerator programme.

ADD, headquartered at Harrogate’s Pannal Business Park, has in the last six years seen its turnover grow from £300,000 with a team of three to £3.4m with 20 staff.

Investment competition judge and ADD operations director Julie Pickersgill said: “Far from being involved in the project solely as an ‘angel investor’, we’re genuinely committed to forging strong partnerships. Our investment encompasses more than just financial input – and extends to training, mentoring and developing those with the potential to succeed.

“We’re seeking a minimum five per cent equity in each of the three successful businesses and are committed to sharing and passing on the formative lessons we’ve learnt to those with passion and the potential to grow their enterprises. Our commercial advice will span critical areas such as innovation, strategy, sales and recruitment – while reinforcing the importance of always keeping the big picture in mind.”

Ms Wood added: “With small and medium-sized enterprises making up over 99 per cent of businesses in UK cities and providing around 50 per cent of all private sector jobs, the importance of developing and nurturing young entrepreneurs is unprecedented.”

David Hunt, senior business manager at Barclays, is also on the judging panel. Closing date for applications is September 16. For more information or to enter please go to: www.qu2leeds.co.uk/add.htm

HMRC July 2013 Key Messages

Free business advice emails from HMRC

Sign up for this free service to receive a series of tax related help and support emails that give you and your business clear guidance at specific times. The emails cover areas such as record keeping, when and how to complete tax returns, when tax payments are due and will point you to where suitable guidance can be found.

Our e-learning survey

Have you have used any of our e-learning products recently? We would really like to know what you thought of the one you used. Please complete our short survey to help us assess how well we are meeting your needs. Your feedback really does count and has resulted in improvements being made to our range of educational products. Thank you in advance of your participation, it is appreciated.

EU VAT number checker and VAT payment deadline calculator

Do you want to check the validity of a VAT number given by a firm in the EU? If so, this tool is the answer. Another helpful tool is the VAT payment deadline calculator, which you can use as a guide to help you make your payments on time! Note – it cannot be used for payments on account, annual accounting or non-standard tax periods.

Working Tax Credits: Do you qualify or do you need to renew?

Follow the steps in this online questionnaire to find out if you might qualify for Tax Credits, even if you work for yourself. If you are already claiming, the deadline to renew your claim is 31 July.

New Webinars

We have added two new products to our live and recorded webinar range: Foster Carers and Shared Lives Carers. All our webinars are geared to support people new to business.

Follow @hmrcgovuk on Twitter

It has been more than two years since HMRC posted its first official ‘tweet’ on Twitter.

Twitter was first used as a pilot for the 31 January 2011 self assessment filing deadline. It continues to grow, with tweets covering deadline reminders, information about online services, notes to agents, businesses and employers, warnings of email ‘phishing’ scams and even reports of significant criminal prosecutions. HMRC’s Twitter account has attracted a wide audience and currently has more than 63,000 followers.

You can follow the feed at http://twitter.com/hmrcgovuk

Machine Games Duty

HMRC has decided not to apply penalties for the late submission of the first MGD returns.

A Case Study in How to ‘Make It Happen’


Make It Happen (MIH) Agency is a successful Marketing & Events Management Company that started life at the Leeds City College business incubator, inc. enterprise. MIH was started by Kristian Wilkinson, a former Leeds City College student.

Make It Happen Agency was Kristian’s second company; after obtaining a distinction in his BTEC in Media he came to inc.enterprise to set up Top Cat Promotion (a company which hosted events at some of Leeds most popular nightclubs, expanding across Wakefield and Castleford).

When Kristian came to start his second business, he returned to inc.enterprise to take advantage of the city centre location and business support that was on offer. Collaborating with a web designer, Make It Happen Agency now works with businesses across the UK, providing these services:

–          Social Media Management

–          Web & Graphic Design

–          Search Engine Optimisation

–          Print

–          Video and Audio Production

inc.enterprise wonder how long it will be until Kristian returns to set up his third successful enterprise – a true entrepreneur!

Kristian said:
“I had a passion for music, so I started my own branded events showcasing the music I was passionate about and it grew from there.   Inc.enterprise gave us stability, low priced office space in Leeds centre, a professional image, on hand advice, networking opportunities, specialist advice if required, lots of contacts and general day to day support.

“The main challenge we faced initially was finance; inc. enterprise supplied low priced office space, with IT and telephone systems ready to go. The next thing was structure. We had to learn and develop the structure of the business from the ground up. Then I had to find like-minded people that were as passionate as me, to help us develop and prosper.”

When asked what advice he would give to anyone thinking of setting up in business, Kristian said:

“Don’t give up! If you believe in it and you can see it working then keep going. Be prepared to make changes and adapt. Try to identify your target market, make yourself stand out and research your competition. Be prepared to make sacrifices and learn from your mistakes, you will have set backs, learn from them and carry on working hard.”

For more details about Make It Happen Agency call 01977 519922 or visit www.mihagency.com

Could you be the next Million Pound Startup?

The Million Pound Startup is a global contest for one business to win £1,000,000 in equity investment. With the aim to propel the startup to a £100,000,000 company.

The contest is open to anyone over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world and has a few rules* :

  1. The startup is less than 10 years old.
  2. It has not turned over the equivalent of £1,000,000 per year so far.
  3. The winner is willing to re-locate the startup’s HQ to London.


  • Contest is open now and will close on 29th August 2013
  • If successful you’ll enter the assessment round from September to November 2013.
  • The final in Lodon in December 2013.

If you need more information before you applying? click here


Competition: Discovering Start-Ups 2013

Now in its fourth year, Discovering Start-Ups is an exciting competition which brings together industry expertise and genuine help for companies.

Technology Start-Up companies from around the UK are urged to enter now and pitch their company to an elite panel of judges and stand the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes.

The free to enter competition will take place on 30th September 2013, at the prestigious London offices of the law firm Taylor Wessing, and provides a platform for you to pitch your start-up company to investors, VCs and global corporate leaders.

Jointly run by Cambridge Wireless and Silicon SouthWest and supported by TechCity UK, this event is kindly sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures, Rohde & Schwarz, Google, SETsquared, Microlease/ Agilent Technologies and Taylor Wessing.

This competition is also supported by the Cambridge Wireless Business SIG Champions:  Kevin Coleman of Alliantus, Leo Poll of Philips Innovation Services and Clennell Collingwood of TTP.

Winners will receive a total prize fund worth £4000.

So if you are an interested in seeing the latest technology, networking with next generation of budding technology entrepreneurs and listening to keynotes from key industry figures purchase a delegate ticket NOW.

Please note there are limited places and discounts are available to members of Cambridge Wireless and Silicon SouthWest.


We need your votes!

inc. enterprise is part of the Leeds Enterprise Network, which has recently been selected for funding under the RBS Inspiring Enterprise Grant Fund.

The Leeds Enterprise Network is an innovative evening networking event bringing together up to 100 young people from across Leeds who are interested in starting a business.

Each event features an inspirational key note speaker, free buffet, exhibition space and opportunities for networking/making key business contacts. We propose to run 4 LEN events in the next 12 months. We will also run informal networking meetings each month called Cafe Connect for around 40 young people supported by quarterly ‘Is Self Employment Right For You?’ workshops to help those interested in developing their ideas to access further support and advice.

The network is a partnership between Leeds City College, Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds University . We have been organising LEN events since 2010 attracting over 700 individuals. This funding will provide us with the opportunity to enhance and grow our network to reach out to new sectors within Leeds.


For more information on the Leeds Enterprise Network visit the website, and view details of the latest events here.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme

inc. enterprise and Leeds City College are pleased to report that the marketing for the next round of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme has been launched.

The 10,000 Small Businesses programme is completely funded by Goldman Sachs and is designed specifically for leaders of businesses and social enterprises who have the desire and drive to grow their businesses and currently have approximately 5 to 50 employees.

The key points are listed below: 

  • The programme enables SMEs to achieve their growth potential by providing participants with tools and resources to help them lay the foundation for long-term sustainable growth and job creation.
  • The core of the programme is delivered by Leeds University Business School during 12 sessions over a period of 5 months.
  • The programme focuses on action based learning to develop practical skills and knowledge.
  • The programme is offered free of charge to thirty eligible businesses.
  • The application window for the autumn 2013 programme closes on the 5 July 2013

 Full details about the programme are available on www.business.leeds.ac.uk/10ksb.


Business Start-up Competition 2013

Marketest, online quantitative market research experts for entrepreneurs  have organised its 3rd  business start-up competition. Anyone aged 18+ who has a new business idea is eligible to apply.


  • Stimulate and promote entrepreneurial initiative in the UK
  • Bring out new business ideas
  • Support the transition from the idea to the launching stage
  • Promote and reward start-up projects

   The winner will be awarded:   

  • 1st prize: market research project worth £1,000
  • 2nd prize: market research project worth £500

 Competition Stages:

  • 25th February – 12th May 2013: Submission of the application forms.
  • Beginning of May 2013: Selection of the best business ideas by Marketest judges.
  • 30th  May 2013: Announcement of the Winners of the Competition.

 Please see the website for further details and how to apply: http://www.marketest.co.uk/business-start-ups-competition











The Nectar Business Small Business Awards

The Nectar Business Small Business Awards celebrate and reward the achievements of successful small businesses and business people in the UK. The Awards are a great opportunity to have your hard work and dedication recognised and be in with a chance to win fantastic prizes.

The awards are free to enter and open to all UK small businesses and social enterprises. They are a celebration of business success, great ideas and outstanding achievements by small businesses.

You could win the chance to meet Nectar Business Small Business Awards judge and leading UK business woman Karren Brady, and could also receive 50,000 Nectar points, £2,000 cash and free public relations support to announce your awards win.
You can enter as many of the six award categories as are relevant for your business.

Please see their website for further clarification regarding eligibility, terms & conditions and how to apply: http://www.nectar.com/dynamic/smallbusiness

Entries close: 30th April 2013