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Applications now open for the 2019 Business Advantage Awards


Do you want to win more than £6,000 worth of support and mentoring for your new or early-stage business? Apply now for the 2019 Business Advantage Awards, run by Leeds Beckett University in partnership with law firm Lupton Fawcett, accountants WGN and Yorkshire Bank.

CityCleaner2U Leeds Beckett graduates at the Business Advantage Awards

Now in its fifth year, the Business Advantage Awards are open to students and graduates of Leeds Beckett (within five years of graduation) and businesses engaged with the University’s Business Centres in Leeds, Halifax and Wakefield and the Ad:Venture support programme for SMEs in the Leeds City Region.

Five Business Advantage Awards are on offer, with each providing up to 50 hours of legal support and mentoring, valued at over £5,000, from a solicitor with expertise in fields such as intellectual property, employment law, taxation and premises legal support. An additional £1,000 of accountancy support will be provided by WGN, with winners also benefiting from 36 months’ free business banking from Yorkshire Bank.

One award will be reserved for current students and graduates of Leeds Beckett and one for a business working in the digital arena.

Application forms are available here. For more information, and to submit your application, please contact universitybusinesscentres@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or call 0113 281 6770. The deadline for entries is 27 February 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to give a 10-minute presentation on their business to a panel in March 2019.

In the last four years, more than 20 businesses have benefited from the awards.

Among last year’s winners were Leeds Beckett graduates Avi Chinn, Adam Yousuf and Tom Tracey, who set up CityCleaner2U in 2017 with partner Luke Smetham (pictured top).

CityCleaner2U is a domestic cleaning platform connecting customers to cleaners through a website or app.

Avi said: “Thanks to our Business Advantage Award, we have set up business banking with Yorkshire Bank and have used Lupton Fawcett to form employee contracts and a shareholders agreement. This has given us a solid foundation and huge cost savings to enable us to launch to market. We also plan to use WGN accountants once all the testing is complete. We now have 100 cleaners ready to be approved onto our platform and the final hurdle is ensuring everything is technically efficient.

“We are now just waiting for Apple approval to enable us to put the app on the app market and hoping to launch it in November.”

Kirstie Frenneaux, University Business Centre and Sponsorship Manager at Leeds Beckett, said: “We are delighted that our partners are again able to support our Business Advantage Awards in 2019. It has been fantastic seeing the impact of the support for businesses such as CityCleaner2U and we are really looking forward to being able to help a new cohort this year.”

Lupton Fawcett, WGN and Yorkshire Bank have worked in partnership with Leeds Beckett for a number of years, offering free one-to-one advice clinics, workshops and support to businesses located in the University Business Centres. The Centres provide virtual office services, co-working and private office space for businesses looking to grow. Services start from £35 per month.

Read all about the 2018 winners here.

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