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Start-up businesses compete for advertisement at Newcastle United

A group of five new businesses are competing to be advertised at St James’ Park as Newcastle United’s sponsor for the day.

The businesses, which have all received a Start-Up loan through Project North East, have been shortlisted for the chance to be featured on LED screens and match programmes at a home fixture against Liverpool.

The five companies are, ‘Choclateas’ – run by Jodi and Stella Kean, who make natural and organic chocolate teas, with flavoured extracts such as chilli and vanilla.

‘Montagu DIY & Hardware,’ a new DIY and Hardware store in Montagu, Newcastle, run by Andrew Emmerson and focusing on selling items for general repairs in the home.

Martin Davies’ ‘Bloom Studio’ which produces bespoke, high quality and engaging animated films for any medium or platform.

‘R-House’ a music promotion company, run by Stewart Platt and specialising in the marketing and promotion of events.

‘AIM Dance Group’ – run by Jessica Henron and Galina Hewitt – a dance company that caters for all sorts of styles and individual abilities, for all ages.

The lucky five met on St. James Park pitch to celebrate their nominations, on February 26, joined by Newcastle United stars James Perch and Mathieu Debuchy.

The shortlist was announced by Sir Richard Branson as he visited Virgin Money’s Gosforth office to meet with around 50 young entrepreneurs who have obtained a Start-Up Loan.

Sir Branson said: “This is often about handing over fairly small sums of money to help develop the new ‘Virgins’ of the future.

“I met a lot of entrepreneurs in the North East and there was a wonderful variety – companies offering everything from clothing to candles and tea – all trying to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

Start-Up Loans are delivered in the North East and Cumbria through Project North East which is supported by a consortium including Virgin Money, Virgin Unite and The Northern Rock Foundation.

As part of this exciting scheme for young entrepreneurs, aged 18-30, Virgin Money has made available some of its sponsorship facilities for Newcastle United.

Sir Tom Shebbeare, Chairman of Virgin Money Giving and of the consortium, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for these aspiring young entrepreneurs to advertise their brand.

“They have already demonstrated that they have a great business idea and with the help of a Start-Up Loan, they are now turning that great idea into an exciting business of the future.

“Sir Richard Branson is synonymous with entrepreneurship and we are delighted to be able to support this great initiative here in the North East and Cumbria.”

To win the chance to be advertised on LED perimeter boards at the April 27 Premiership match against Liverpool, the shortlisted business will need to create an impressive pitch.

Each of the five companies will pitch their business online, where it will be put to a public vote. Voting is now open and all votes must be cast by March 31.

Richard Clark, Director of Workspace at Project North East said: “Project North East is delighted to be helping young people to launch their business with a Start-Up Loan.

“The five shortlisted companies really stood out and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to have their brand advertised for free to a massive audience.

“I am sure they all deserve the opportunity and I wish them luck, but there can be only one winner.”

To vote for the winner, visit: www.virginmoney.com/bigkickoff

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