Have you got the Exe Factor?

Exmouth is offering budding Alan Sugars the chance to win a competition which could set up the lucky winner in business in the town.

A new scheme has this week been launched to find budding a local entrepreneur who dreams of making a success in retail.

The lucky winner of the competition will scoop a stall in Exmouth Indoor Market, with subsidised costs for the first year and including a six month rent-free period, a year’s worth of mentoring and support by a professional business advisor and �2,000 towards stocking up their stall for the first time.

Exmouth Indoor market owner Jerry Miller said: “This is a great chance for anybody out there who has got the right idea, but is daunted by the thought of starting up in the current climate.

“This project will give them every possible chance to help them succeed.”

The idea of the Exe Factor was made possible thanks to a joint partnership by Exmouth Indoor Market, the Business Information Point and Exmouth Town Management Partnership.

The competition is aimed at anyone who has the vision, energy, enthusiasm and drive to turn their retail idea into reality.

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Entrants face a panel of judges who will select what they believe to be the best ideas to take forward to the finals.

Finalists will be invited along to three separate workshops, where they will be given information and guidance on the obstacles facing fledgling small businesses.

The overall winner will be crowned after a after the finalists have presented the judging panel with their business plans.

Exmouth’s mayor, Councillor Darryl Nicholas, welcomed the move, saying it showed the ‘forward thinking’ town was ‘brimming with exciting ideas’.

Cllr Nicholas said: “I take my hat off to the people behind this competition. There’s a breath of fresh air blowing through Exmouth at the moment, especially with the new outlets opening around the revitalised Strand.

“This is just the kind of initiative we need to boost business in the town and put us on the retail map.”

Councillor Chubb, district council business champion, said: “I fully support this interesting initiative, which is a sign of the green shoots starting to emerge in this important East Devon town.

“I would like to congratulate the team at Exmouth for coming up with such an inspirational idea. Who knows – this could be the start of the next Body Shop or the next Sainsbury’s.”

• To enter complete the application form downloaded from www.exmouth.gov.uk or call Exmouth Town Council on (01395) 276167 for a posted copy.

For more information on the project call Tony Collins on (01395) 276167 or e-mail: townmanager@exmouth.gov.uk