Competitions, Awards & Opportunities

Natwest back her business

Helping women turn their ideas into reality!

Natwest wants to support more women to start businesses, so they've teamed up with Crowdfunder to help you get started. Together they'll help you raise money for your business through crowdfunding, and they'll also provide free coaching, mentoring and opportunities to meet like-minded women. What’s more, they're also offering up to 50% of your fundraising target (max. £5,000) in grant funding for certain successful projects.

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Unloc Enterprise Challenge

The Unloc Enterprise Challenge brought to you by Verizon is an online entrepreneurship competition looking for people aged 16-25 with fresh, new and innovative technology-led business ideas. We are reaching out to a Pan-European audience in our search for a great new start-up business.

Applicants will compete to win the overall prize at the London finals:

- £10,000/€11,000* of funding for their start-up business.
- A mentorship package to accelerate their idea
- Finalist runner ups will also receive £1,000/€1,100* of funding for their start-up business

We are really keen to open this opportunity up to as many people aged 16-25 as possible - and your organisation's help could enable us to do exactly that. We would like to invite your organisation to become a partner of the competition, with key benefits including:

- Free tickets for the Grand Final in London
- Providing young people in your network with the opportunity to apply for the competition
- Joining a network of like-minded organisations that are putting youth entrepreneurship on the map
- Recognition of your support on competition material, including your logo on the competition website

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Small Business Sunday

Every Sunday former Dragons' Den judge Theo Paphitis picks six small business owners to retweet to his thousands of Twitter followers. For the chance to be selected tweet @TheoPaphitis with the #SBS hashtag between 5pm and 7.30pm on Sundays.

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EU-funded Start-up Entrepreneurship Programme

A hands-on interactive business support programme, fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Arming you with an Executive Summary, a Pitch Deck, a Business Model and a basic Financial Plan, this SETsquared programme will put your business on the path to success.
In addition, you will get the chance to:

* hear from other entrepreneurs who have gone on to raise significant investment
* hone your pitch in front of a panel of investors and expert mentors
* receive valuable feedback to shape your proposition from the speed mentoring session.

The programme is open to all - it is ideal for entrepreneurs with an idea for a tech-based product or service and founders of early-stage technology ventures, as well as more experienced entrepreneurs launching a new product/venture.

Applications for February and March are now closed, other programmes to be announced.

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Our Advice

The nest team will advertises a variety of competitions for startups and early stage companies. If we think you are a strong candidate then we may also contact you directly with relevant opportunities. In the past our student and graduate entrepreneurs have done well in competitions such as the Young StartUp Talent (Solent Region) and The National Santander Awards. Of course, we also hold our own annual competition every March, the Enterprise Showcase, where you can nominate yourselves or others to receive one of the highly sought after awards. Keep an eye on our social media after Christmas for how to get involved.