LONDON, 19th December 2013 - Intuit UK has today announced the winner of “Love Our Local Business”, a national competition that has awarded cash-strapped British start-ups and local business owners with a total of £15,000 of funding.
The campaign, which has been running since the end of October, has gifted ten £1,000 cash awards as well as one £5,000 Grand Prize to small businesses across the UK.
The grand prizewinner, The Opus Pocus aims to encourage children to listen to classical music. The business had a successful start, by hosting a production of 1001 Arabian Nights, starring Brian Blessed and Rory Bremner. Now, they have secured funding they will be expanding, by developing an educational app and new website to provide children with an exciting and modern approach to classical music.
Love Our Local Business has awarded a diverse and wide spectrum of winners with cash prizes - from The Best Deal Guide, a price comparison website, to Rosewood Farms, a cattle breeder in Yorkshire developing an accurate and safe method of weighing cattle.
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 almost 1,500 entries and more than 255,000 votes for the participating businesses, clocking up a total of 345,000 visits to the site during the competition.
Mike Williams, Head of Intuit UK business, said: “Intuit is committed to helping small businesses grow. It’s been great to see so many entries, and the appetite amongst small businesses owners to secure extra funding from Intuit’s ‘Love Our Local Business’ campaign to help them succeed. The support from voters has also been terrific and it is very reassuring to see so much backing for small enterprise. We congratulate all the winners and wish all those who took part in the competition good luck for the future.”
The competition comes to a close just a few days after it was announced that more than 500,000 new businesses were created in 2013, according to StartUp Britain, Intuit’s partner in the campaign. It has been a record year for UK start-ups, with one new firm created every minute. Early stage funding is still limited, so the £15,000 cash awards have given these eleven home-grown start-ups and small businesses a welcome financial boost.
StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones said: “We know that start-ups often have to get their businesses up and running on a modest budget and before a steady income can be generated. This is a simple yet much needed cash injection that is appreciated by the winners.”
The eleven winners were*:
The Best Deal Guide – A comparison website for beauty and wellness products needing money for marketing and growth.
Rosewood Farms – Cattle breeders who want to purchase a system to weigh the animals and log their health records.
Epilepsy Sucks – Creating anti-suffocation pillows for epilepsy sufferers. The £1,000 could save 22 lives.
Newton and the Apple – Designers of products inspired by science and nature. The money will go towards purchasing their own laser cutter.
Jen Made This – A company making bespoke bags, aprons and other homeware. The money will buy a new embroidery machine and help the company grow.
Gem Alley – An online jewellery boutique. The money will go towards setting up a gallery space and pop-up stores.
SOHOST – A CoWorking brand and business incubator, who will use the money to buy a new internet host to make them more competitive.
Bump and Me – Daniella is the creator of an app for single mums-to-be. With her developer no longer trading, she needs to create a new developer to maintain the app.
Free-Fold.com – A British-designed recyclable garment carrier for cycling to work. They need the money to help manufacture their product in Britain.
The Opus Pocus - A startup business that gets children listening to classical music. They need the money to develop this into an educational app.
*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.
About StartUp Britain
The StartUp Britain campaign is backed by Government but 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 Love Our Local Business
Intuit’s Love Our Local Business effort grows out of Intuit’s Love a Local Business programme. Love Our Local Business is part of Intuit’s larger, ongoing commitment to support the financial success of consumers and small businesses all over the world.
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.