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The HEAT – Applications Open Now!

Do you think your business or business idea has what it takes to win a Dragons Den style enterprise competition?  The HEAT 24 (Highlighting Entrepreneurship All Together) is accepting applications now from businesses less than two years old or for business ideas that haven’t started up yet.

Pitching to a panel of local entrepreneurs, the competition is looking for fresh ideas with potential for growth and innovation. Organised by Ceteris with support from Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling, any enterprise based in the Forth Valley can apply to take part. Sponsored by Robertson there are thousands of pounds of prizes to be won for the three best entrants.

Stephen Sloper impressed judges last year with his ice cream business Penny Licks and was crowned the HEAT winner 2023. Penny Licks is an ice cream cafe in Tillicoultry and opened in 2022.  Stephen’s ideas for growth, including wholesale plans, impressed the judges and he beat stiff competition from dozens of other Forth Valley firms. He won prizes including IT support and HR consultancy help and urges any new business to enter.

Stephen said: “Entering and winning the Heat 23 competition was a meaningful and rewarding experience for myself.

“I have very successfully used the various prizes to improve and develop our business greatly. I continue to build business relationships which have come about through the help of Ceteris and Business Gateway.

“The whole process although slightly nerve-racking at the time really challenged me to consider how I could portray my business to a panel of my peers so that they could understand my vision.”

Maggie Gorman, Business Support and Development Director from Ceteris said: “We are so excited to launch HEAT 24 and can’t wait to hear from businesses and budding entrepreneurs.

“Whatever your business, we want to hear all about it – in the past we have had winners from as broad a range sectors as drone videography, a martial arts gym and the inventor of magnetic post it notes.

“Forth Valley is brimming with business ideas and commerce is booming in the region. Applying is easy and there are thousands of pounds of prizes up for grabs. I promise our Dragons Den panel doesn’t have anyone too scary on it!”

The HEAT 24, kindly sponsored by Robertson, is open now and any business with less than two years of trading by September 2024 or anyone with an entrepreneurial idea can apply. Prizes include:

  • £250 cash prize for the winner from Robertson
  • Over £4000 worth of IT and HR consultancy from STEP
  • Nearly £2000 worth of accountancy support from Arm in Arm Accounting

For full details, visit the Ceteris website. Or to apply, just fill out this short application form here. Applications close Monday, August 26 and the final will take place on 17 September.

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