Baldwins launches KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards

By Simon Penfold | Business Picks | Published:

The Black Country’s up and coming entrepreneurs are being given the chance to kick-start their business ideas with a five-figure investment.

Last year’s winners Harry Smith, left, and Jack Cornes, right, with Baldwins’ David Baldwin

The Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards are open across the Black Country for 18 to 25-year-olds as the competition enters its sixth year, which has seen £150,000 invested in start-up businesses since 2013.

The winner of the awards will be given a grant of £10,000 along with £10,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice, while two runners-up will each receive £5,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice.

Last year’s Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards saw 19-year-olds Harry Smith and Jack Cornes scoop the top prize for their concept of wall-climbing painting robots, with the investment enabling them to develop their prototype ready to show to investors.

This year’s three finalists will be invited to present in front of more than 400 people at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on Thursday, November 15.

Mark Craddock, from Baldwins in Wolverhampton – part of the Walsall-based Baldwins accountancy group – said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for young people who have just started a business or are looking to turn their idea into a reality.

“At a time of economic uncertainty it’s important that we are nurturing the next generation of business professionals, particularly when it comes to the practicalities of setting up a business and creating a steady flow of income, and applicants that are invited for an interview will receive constructive feedback to help their ideas flourish.

“The awards are not restricted to any sector and everyone who enters will have the invaluable experience of putting together a business plan.

“Ten people are chosen to be interviewed about their ideas, which will then be whittled down to a final three.”


The 2018 Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards come off the back of another strong year of expansion for the Baldwins Group, which now has 60 offices around the UK.

Baldwins, a CogitalGroup company, is one of the UK’s leading business services groups. Currently, CogitalGroup has 4,700 people operating from 150 offices in seven countries, with revenue in excess of £320 million.

David Baldwin, director at Baldwins, has overseen the Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards since its inception.

He added: “These awards have developed an enviable reputation for producing some 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 senior management team has overseen the development of a skiwear brand called Snooks which is now trading in the UK high street, while another of our winners that prints and designs products celebrating iconic sporting moments has recently expanded to larger premises.

“The best thing anybody can wear is confidence, if you have that and an idea that addresses a gap, then please get in touch.”

The deadline to apply for the Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards is Friday, August 31; to enter visit

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.


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