oxfordinnovation1Souter PR client Stockport Business and Innovation Centre (SBIC) is launching a new hunt for entrepreneurial talent in Stockport.

Pioneer 10 is designed to give people with great business ideas exciting access to a free business award and growth coaching programme.

It is aimed at early stage businesses who are keen to grow along with established businesses looking to innovate and/or enter new markets.

Figures from Startup Britain show that the Borough remains one of the prime locations in the country to launch a new business venture. In 2015, there were nearly 3000 Stockport start-ups, which made it number 45 in a list of the most enterprising places in England.

Pioneer 10 follows on from SBIC’s successful Spark competition that has run for the last two years and unearthed the ground-breaking Bariquin and Inspired Goodbyes business concepts.

This time the scheme will find and support the region’s top ‘Pioneers’ over a 10 month period.

Business owners who want to be considered for the scheme can apply online today.

A judging panel including business experts from Gorvins, Clarke Nicklin, Royal Bank of Scotland, Appleyard Lees (Patent Attorney), Souter PR, Stockport Council, Tangent Design, Zoom Media and Novomodo (business innovation support) will select ten of the pioneering businesses to receive one to one coaching and guidance.

This stage will open up a world of new possibilities for business owners and significantly increase their chance of success.

Two Pioneer10 entrepreneurs will be selected at the final awards event – a winner and runner up – for a longer term, high impact business support package – worth c £15,000 – leveraging the resources of Oxford Innovation, SBIC & the Pioneer 10 partners.

The programme is part of SBIC’s continued commitment to support entrepreneurs. SBIC provides flexible office space specifically aimed at nurturing fledgling businesses and offers mentoring and support to help start-ups and young businesses develop and deliver a robust business plan.

The facility is managed by Oxford Innovation and owned by Stockport Council.

Tony Corcoran, Incubation Director at SBIC, said that the Pioneer10 concept had great scope for Stockport’s enterprising business community. “It is the perfect platform for people who have all the drive and ambition required, but are looking for an effective way to move their game-changing ideas forward.”

Caroline Simpson, Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration at Stockport Councilagreed: “Stockport Business and Innovation Centre has already proved itself to be a very effective partner in supporting companies to grow – Pioneer 10 seeks to identify businesses that, with support, can make an impact in the local economy.

“This initiative is not just for young businesses facing the next steps, but also for established small businesses who want to support an innovation in a new direction. As such, it presents an exciting opportunity for any forward thinking small business or entrepreneur”

Registration for Pioneer10 is now open.

The Pioneer10 programme is being promoted via its website and through Stockport’s vibrant business media and network channels.