Essex: Sidearm owner urges would-be entrepreneurs to enter Barclays’ Take One Small Step contest

LAST year’s East of England regional winner in a nation-wide contest for start-up business ideas is encouraging fledgling entrepreneurs to take part in the competition this year.

Frank Thorogood won �50,000 as one of nine regional winners in the Take One Small Step competition held for the first time last year by Barclays.

He impressed the judges with his idea for a cricketing coaching aid, known as Sidearm, and thanks to the prize money his invention is now in production.

“The money certainly helped,” said Mr Thorogood, from Chelmsford, I don’t know what I would have done without it to be honest.

“We have now been producing and selling units for eight months and the volume of sales and feedback that we have received has all been really positive.”

Besides encouraging potential entrepreneurs to take part in this year’s competition, which is now open for entries, he also has a tip for catching the eye of the judges.

“The best thing to do if you are planning on applying is to make sure you have a really good video that clearly demonstrates your idea,” he added.

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“It really is the best way to show off your product.”

Nine regional winners will again each receive �50,000 this year, together with free business advice.

The competition is open to existing businesses as well as those who simply have a new idea.

For full details, visit www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk . The closing date for entries in April 27.