Are you an entrepreneur with a fresh idea and in need of a little bit of support getting it out and bringing it to scale? Or are you an existing business with good growth potential looking for that extra push? Then VOOM 2016 may be just the help you have been looking for.
VOOM 2016, the Virgin Media Business Award has just launched and, while there is a large focus on standard business models, the competition is also looking to recognise and assist budding social entrepreneurs. Providing that you operate in the UK or Ireland, this may be your chance to pitch your idea to a panel of judges, including Richard Branson, and to win a very nice pot of money, plus some lovely trimmings too.
You can enter under one of two main categories: Start Up or Grow, and one winner in each category will bring home a 50,000 GBP cash prize, social and PR support, advertising, mentoring, financial advice, with each winner's prize worth over 450,000 GBP.
While you work to gather votes from the public to help you through the selection process, you will also be able to raise funds through a simultaneous crowdfunding campaign thanks to a partnership between VOOM 2016 and Crowdfunder, .
Each entrant can also choose whether to submit for one or three of the following awards: Great Award; Crowdfunding Award, and Impact Award. This last award is for those business ideas with a social and environmental focus, and provided you've been shortlisted in your main category - whether Start Up or Grow - you'll have the chance to gather up some additional prizes through this award too. Prizes include the all important mentoring and “an all-expenses-paid trip to Necker Island for the four-day Leadership Gathering “Disrupting for Good” – in 2017”.
All in all, some fantastic prizes are up for grabs and a great opportunity to turn your ideas into success. Although, should clocking up a huge amount of air miles and carbon emissions in order to spend four days in extreme luxury on a private Caribbean island be a suitable reward, particularly for those interested in finding solutions to social and environmental problems? It's a valid question. Still, if you are interested in applying, the date to get entries in by is 10 May 2016.