Press release

The SJL Foundation National Start-Up Business Awards 2021 are looking for the UK’s best start-up businesses – this year the contest will also take entries from established businesses negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

23 September 2021: The SJL Foundation annual SJL National Start-Up Business Awards are live and taking applications for start-up businesses to win a free £2,000 or £5,000 business grant. This year, the contest will open the net wider to help established businesses recover and restart if they’ve been negatively affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Any member of the public age 18 and over can apply to become one of five finalists to pitch to 4 judges in front of a live audience in the House of Commons on Tuesday 16 November 2021, as to why they should win a free business grant.

Winners will be awarded the business grant but also receive one year’s free mentorship and coaching as well as a free publicity and PR which is priceless.

To enter the competition, people can email [email protected] to ask for an application form. They will then be emailed the form with just 8 questions to answer. Each competition entrant must also submit a three-minute video of themselves saying what their business activity does, and how they’d spend the £2,000 or £5,000 grant, and how Covid-19 affected their business if they’re not a start-up.

The closing date for entries is 11:59pm on Monday 11 October 2021. It is compulsory for all finalists to travel to the House of Commons on Tuesday 16 November 2021 and the event finishes at 10.30pm.

There will be four judges are:

MP Robin Walker, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State serving jointly between the Scotland Office and the Northern Ireland Office in the UK Government is hosting the evening reception at the House of Commons on behalf of the SJL Foundation.

Simon Lancaster, Trustee, SJL Foundation said: “Having started SJL Insurance Services 20 years ago with the help of a £500 council grant, I launched the SJL Foundation to pay it forward. In the upcoming national competition, we will help start-up businesses and are also widening the net offering the chance for established businesses that have been hit negatively during the pandemic, to apply for a grant too to recover and restart.”

100% of donations go to the SJL Foundation charity. The SJL Foundation currently raises money for start-up businesses, businesses negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and Acorns Children’s’ Hospices.

Press enquiries

Please contact director of external relations, Kerry Hopkins, at the Broadcasters’ Academy on T: 07900 981 751 E: [email protected]  W: Broadcasters Academy

About the SJL Foundation

The SJL Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which was approved by the Charity Commission in June 2019 and has registered charity number 1183875. The SJL Foundation is sponsored by SJL Insurance Services and set up by the founder of SJL Insurance Services, Simon Lancaster and has 4 trustees.

For more information on our other fundraising activities throughout the year, to sponsor us, or to buy tickets to our charity events, please visit here