Scotland’s next generation of entrepreneurs are being urged to enter a competition that offers substantial cash and mentoring support to kick start their business.

The KickStart awards, which are open to 18 to 25-year-old entrepreneurs, offers the winner a grant of £10,000 along with £10,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice. Two runners-up will each receive £5,000 worth of mentoring and advice.

Chris Horne, Managing Partner, said: “KickStart offers a generous package of cash and advice to young Scots’ entrepreneurs with an exciting business or innovative idea.

“Scotland is famed for its young entrepreneurial talent but with so much economic uncertainty at present it is essential that we support the next generation of entrepreneurs as they build their businesses. We hope as many new Scots’ entrepreneurs will take up the challenge and showcase their talent, and their ideas, on a national stage.”

Ten entrepreneurs will be interviewed about their ideas, with a final three being invited to present to more than 400 people at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on Thursday, November 14.

Last year’s Scottish winner, Michael Harkins from Livingston, landed the £20,000 investment for his shell-shaped swimming aid, known as Turtle Pack, that sits on a child’s back and allows them to swim freely without the need for armbands and handheld floats.

Michael said: “This money is going to go a long way and allow me to scale up the manufacturing of the product so I can fulfil large scale orders.”

David Baldwin, Director at Baldwins, added: “The KickStart programme has developed an enviable reputation for developing talented home-grown entrepreneurs, and the growing standard of entries that we receive year-on-year shows us that there is still more to come.

“Our 2018 winner Michael Harkins was a classic example – he spotted an issue with existing swimming apparatus while going about his daily routine as a swimming instructor, and with the right help and advice, he has turned a concept into a product that is now on the market.”

The deadline to apply for the Awards is Saturday, August 31. To enter, click here.