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Storage giant offers £5k prize for best budding business talent

By James Pugh | Business | Published:

A £5,000 Dragon's Den style search to find a budding entrepreneur with a golden future in Shropshire and Powys has been launched by the UK’s biggest container self-storage company.

Will Jones and Mike Trow

Lock Stock Self-Storage is offering a valuable package of start-up aid including 12 months’ rent free in a specially adapted storage unit for the business brain with the best new scheme.

The company, which has bases in Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Newtown, have just taken delivery of its 3,000th storage unit and to celebrate that milestone it has also commissioned a special golden unit to tour its 18 storage sites over the next two months on the back of a lorry with prizes up for grabs on the firm’s social media pages for those who spot it.

Over 1,000 thriving businesses across the region already use Lock Stock storage units for everything from the antiques trade to importing gift shop goods from the Far East and exporting used bikes to Africa.

The competition is open to both new and existing businesses and the winner will move into a unit at the storage park of their choice, free from rent and rates for 12 months and access to a valuable package of business support and advice while they kick-start their operation into life.

The package is worth over £5,000 including a £3,000 cash prize and the only thing standing in their way is a grilling from the Lock Stock Business Dragons, a panel of judges which will include Lock Stock site manager Mike Trow and HSBC Business relationship manager Will Jones who has vast experience of advising businesses how to grow.

HSBC area director Martin Lyons said: “I think this is a brilliant initiative because whether the winner is an existing business or a start-up, small businesses always need a helping hand.

“We at HSBC pride ourselves in looking after business customers and helping them with their growth aspirations, that’s what we’re here for.

“Lock Stock Self Storage are a brilliant company and they have always been keen on working within the community and lending a helping hand where they can.

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“The idea behind this, to give some positive support that makes a real difference to a business, is a real winner and we were delighted to be involved.”

The accompanying package for the winner includes PR, banking support, two one-hour one-on-one sessions with Will Jones looking at business strategy and growth, valuable networking opportunities and an overall mentoring process.

Lock Stock’s Mike Trow said: “We are very excited to launch our Business Dragons competition which is aimed at giving a helping someone turn their bright idea into entrepreneurial reality.

“Our storage parks are at the heart of our communities and so many of our units are already helping people grow their businesses – in some of those parks over 60 per cent of our units are taken by businesses.

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“It is with this in mind that we wanted to offer a local person, with a great business idea, the chance to make their dream reality without many of the start-up costs which can be so prohibitive when you make that first, scary step.

“We are asking people to come forward and write to us with their ideas for their business and we will draw up a shortlist of candidates who will then compete against one another in a grand final where they will pitch their idea directly to us.

“The one we deem to have the most potential will win the 12-month free unit and also have our backing including expert PR support to make their business a success.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing the different business ideas and I’d urge as many local entrepreneurs as possible to go for this brilliant opportunity.”

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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