The campaign, which has been running since the end of February, has gifted ten £1,000 cash awards as well as one £10,000 Grand Prize to small businesses across the UK.
Statistics show that one-in-four small businesses fail in their first year, while half of all SMEs will not survive beyond their fourth birthday. Intuit’s funding could not only be a life support for a struggling small business, but also extra money to help develop business models and ideas.
Small Business Local Buzz has awarded a diverse and wide spectrum of winners with cash prizes – from Sewfie, a business that designs, makes and sells crochet kits, to Shop Scotland, a website that gives small creative e-commerce businesses a platform to promote themselves, helping to showcase Scottish talent.
The overall winner, The Open Hand Project, who make robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees, is run solely by Joel Gibbard and employs emerging technologies such as 3D printing to cut the cost of prostheses from $100,000 to $1,000.
Joel said: “I am stunned to have been awarded £10,000. I only set up The Open Hand Project a year ago and so to have been recognised for what I do is an amazing feeling. I hoped that I would win a prize when I entered, but never thought it would be £10,000. This is going to give me much-needed funds to push The Project onwards and upwards.”
To be considered for a prize, businesses were encouraged to submit a ‘wish’ on Intuit’s dedicated website, explaining why they should qualify for funding. They then used social channels to drum up votes from their customers and supporters.
The competition received more than 1,000 entries and over 66,500 votes for the participating businesses, clocking up a total of 280,000 visits to the site during the competition.
Rich Preece, Managing Director, Intuit UK, said: “The quantity and quality of entries throughout ‘Small Business Local Buzz’ is further proof of the creativity and determination of British entrepreneurs. The support from voters demonstrates public enthusiasm for fuelling the UK’s SME-led economic recovery. It is part of Intuit’s mission to support small businesses however we can, and so we are absolutely thrilled with the way the competition has run.”
Emma Jones, co-founder StartUp Britain, said: “This is a wonderful example of what the private sector can achieve in supporting the next generation of business talent.”
The eleven winners were*:
Sewfie – Set up in 2012 by university drop-out Sofie Kay, Sewfie makes and sells Learn-to-Crochet kits
Habibi Kitchen – A one-woman food trader from Glasgow who makes colourful, creative and wholesome foods from the Middle East and beyond
Shop Scotland – A promotional platform for small creative ecommerce businesses which aims to help showcase Scottish creative talent
NEAD –Norfolk Education & Action for Development explores global justice and equality issues and links them to local issues and life-style
Quarry Accountancy Ltd – An accountancy firm that reinvests its profits into providing money management services for those accessing social care support
Scavenger Annie – Annie set up her embroidery business to make quirky, rocky kids clothes, but has now grown to encompass adult wear and accessories
Hamstead Soundworks – A small company making quality guitar amps, who are now able to take on a couple of apprentices
The Cambridge Raincoat Company Ltd – Creating chic and versatile raincoats for people who ride upright bicycles
Jacob’s Den – Creators of the Wet Dog Mat, designed for incontinent dogs or to protect furniture from wet pets
Afflux Energy – Makers of the energy health drink with a difference, which uses lychee, cranberries and carbonated water, as well as the finest herbs.
Open Hand Project – Charity prosthetic limb company borne out of the founder’s love of robotics
*Any reference or link to third parties products or services does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation of the product or service or of its producer or supplier.
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About Intuit in the UK
Intuit in the U.K. helps small businesses get paid, manage their money and pay their employees, and accounting professionals be more productive and grow their practices. The company’s flagship products in the U.K. include QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Payroll and Intuit Pay. For more information visit www.intuit.co.uk
Intuit Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (Company No. 2679414) with registered address and principal place of business in 1 Cathedral Piazza SW1E 5BP London. Intuit Limited is a subsidiary of Intuit Inc.
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. creates business and financial management solutions that simplify the business of life for small businesses, consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services include QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, which make it easier to manage small businesses and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. Mint.com provides a fresh, easy and intelligent way for people to manage their money, while Demandforce® offers marketing and communication tools for small businesses. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit's leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had revenue of $4.2 billion in its fiscal year 2013. The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.
About StartUp Britain
The StartUp Britain campaign is backed by Government and operates as a fully private sector supported venture. It was founded by eight individuals and business owners and is sponsored by Intuit, PayPal, BT Business and Iris. Its role is to inspire, accelerate and celebrate entrepreneurship. www.startupbritain.co
About GREAT Business Exchange
The Business Exchange seeks to link the growing number of new businesses in the UK with bigger, more established corporates, in order to help British SMEs get to the next level. The initiative makes it easier for the small business community to understand and take advantage of the range of pledges on offer from big businesses. For more information, please go to http://greatbusinessexchange.co.uk
About Small Business Local Buzz
Intuit’s Small Business Local Buzz competition grows out of Intuit’s Love Our Local Business programme, part of Intuit’s larger, ongoing commitment to support the financial success of consumers and small businesses all over the world.