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Entrepreneurs make pitch in £50,000 cash injection contest

Entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland are being offered a chance to pitch for business support worth £50,000.

Organised by BusinessZone.co.uk in association with Yell, The Pitch 2011 arrives in Belfast in September.

Five business owners will state their cases at the Grand Opera House with one going on to compete against winners from England, Wales and Scotland at the final in London in November.

Judging the contestants will be Will McKee, co-founder and chairman of Belfast-based business development and sales training consultancy Linkubater.

Mr McKee has 30-years’ business experience in Britain, Ireland, the US and Asia and is non-executive director of several companies, including Northern Bank.

In 2002, he was awarded a prize by HRH Prince Philip in recognition of his achievements in business education.

Also on the judging panel will be Karen Darby, who started energy price comparison service Simply Switch before selling it for £25m four years later and Carl Hopkins, marketing entrepreneur and star of Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire.

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Karen Darby will also be providing 12 months free mentoring to the overall winner of The Pitch 2011.

Prizes also include a year’s membership of the Forum of Private Business, PR and market research services, £3,000 of advertising and marketing from Yell and business software from Barclays.

Small business owners interested in entering the competition on September 21 have until 18 August to apply at http://www.thepitch2011.com/enter