SJL Foundation launches new business start-up competition

The SJL Foundation (charity) has launched a new initiative to give eight finalists an opportunity to pitch their new business start-up idea to a panel of four people in the House of Commons.

Businesses can be up to one-year-old startups and may enter to be in with a chance of winning a free grant of £2,000, to get mentored by staff at SJL, and to get one hour with insurance entrepreneur Simon Lancaster.

Eight finalists will present their five-minute pitch to the panel in front of an audience of 100 guests in the House of Commons as to why they should win a grant.

All eight finalists are in with a chance of winning a £2,000 grant each if their pitch at the House of Commons is good enough.

The SJL Foundation aims to give 45% of all proceeds to the business start-up fund, of which it hopes to put at least £45,000 towards that in year one.

To enter the competition, entrants need to email [email protected] to ask for an application form. The form will be emailed to entrants and applicants will have to answer eight questions on the form.

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 grant and how they’d benefit from mentorship.

The closing date for entries is the September 30. All applicants must be available to travel to London on October 21 and stay overnight, if travel the night before is required due to an early start the next morning, ready to be at the event in the House of Commons on October 22 between 8.30am-10.30am, if they are chosen as a successful finalist.

There will be four judges on the panel consisting of Simon Lancaster, Trustee of the SJL Foundation, founder and CEO of SJL Insurance – one of the UK’s largest owner-owned insurance brokers registered with Lloyds of London, Kerry Hopkins, a public relations director who has PR’d some of the largest corporations in the world and is now the managing director of public relations agency Baron & Hopkins and the other two judges will be announced in due course.

PP 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 breakfast reception at the House of Commons on behalf of the SJL Foundation.

The £2,000 grant package will be donated to each winner by the latest date of December 31.