D2N2 helps identify Nottinghamshire’s top Innovators

Two support packages worth £15,000 each were on offer to ten Nottinghamshire Entrepreneurs last night, after months of submission and a judgement panel of business experts, including the Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The final of the Pioneer 10 programme was held last night (March 1) at the I-Centre in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. It featured ten entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas and innovations in the hopes of being awarded a £15,000 support package to a panel of senior business people from the area; including Paul Stuart from the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Steve Upcraft from Nottingham University, Julie Reader-Sullivan from Newark & Sherwood District Council, Mark Mirfin from Love Your Skin, Femi Ogunshakin from Loftus Stowe Ltd and Peter Richardson Chair of the D2N2 LEP.

D2N2 is the LEP for the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area and works with businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers and community and voluntary organisations to grow its areas economy, with the aim of creating 55,000 new jobs in ten years. To steer and guide its efforts, D2N2 is governed by its board, which is made up of representatives from the fields of business, higher and further education, local authority and skills and training.

Peter Richardson (pictured), who chairs the D2N2 Board, has occupied this position since November 2012 and has a lifetime of experience working in the financial services sector. As part of last night’s event, Peter spoke on the work of the LEP in helping its areas small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and boost the economy through a number of ways, including through the D2N2 Growth Hub, a free and impartial business support and advice service which has helped over 3,000 businesses in two years access workshops, skills and training, new markets and digital technology.

The shortlisted finalists and their companies were:

Os Morgan – Kraft Werks
Teri England – Red Fox ID
Irma Gilbert – Co Fabrico Ltd
Rebecca Aldridge – Balance: Wealth Planning Limited
Tim Calnan – CS Design Software
Paul Belshaw – Smartersoft
Steve Harrison – The Coaching Company
John Morley – i-Sourcer
Kiyth G Fotitt – Newark Hoverflights UK
Billie-Anne Warriner – Fosse Cashflow Solutions (also pictured)

Each of these businesses will receive one-to-one coaching and guidance from Oxford Innovation – which provides practical support to help ambitious businesses and start-ups succeed. The two businesses who won the £15,000 support packages will each get one year of business coaching and office space from Oxford Innovation; a year’s membership with East Midlands Chamber of Commerce; a digital marketing package; legal guidance; a social media consultation with professional digital headshots; and a HR start-up package.

In addition to this contest, the Pioneer 10 programme has supported more than 130 Nottinghamshire businesses since launching in May.

Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 LEP, said: “It was no easy task judging these ten businesses. Initiatives such as the Pioneer 10 programme really showcase what an extensive, high quality range of businesses and innovators we have here in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Innovation is truly in the D2N2 region’s DNA and the support and help that each business will receive is well-earned and well-deserved.

More information on the Pioneer 10 Programme

More information on the D2N2 Board

More information on Oxford Innovation

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