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Councillor Nick McDonald, portfolio holder for jobs and growth at the city council, which is leading the competition, said: "This is a truly unique and exciting collaboration between the city and private sector partners who are all passionate about helping new businesses and breathing new life into Nottingham's shopping streets.
ï»¿Unique competition will help two aspiring retailers to set up shop in the city
"We are seeing retailers doing well online now and looking to get bricks and mortar to develop their businesses. We are anticipating we will get applications from local online businesses which are looking to take the next move."
David Hargreaves, of FHP, said: "We have been talking about a Dragons' Den style competition for budding retailers at FHP for the past two to three years. The funding Nottingham City Council secured via the Mary Portas initiative to tackle the increased vacancy rates in our towns and cities provided the opportunity.
"Nottingham has always been a leading UK shopping destination and we are inviting two up and coming retailers to become part of this. We were one of the councils which received what has been called 'Portas funds' Government money which aims to help boost retail centres. We are allocating a portion of this money to help launch the ventures of two local retailers."
Additional supporters of Inspiring Retail are Nottingham Trent University, the Nottingham BID and media partner Nottingham Post Group.
caf Whether it's vintage clothing, a beauty salon, a bakery or coffee shop, we know this is a competition where we will find some really inspiring ideas and we cannot wait to see the applications."
As well as the funding for set up costs and stock, the two winners will be given help and advice from the panel of private sector sponsors: Yorkshire Bank will be offering financial advice; property consultants FHP will source a suitable retail unit in Nottingham city centre for each retailer; law firm Fraser Brown will be assisting with legal issues and HR; accountancy and tax advice will come from Smith Cooper; and marketing and creative agency Rizk McCay and PR agency Cartwright Communications will offer PR and marketing support.
To complement a package of other support projects, Nottingham wanted to develop an innovative way of spending some of the grant and came up with the Inspiring Retail Nottingham competition.
The winners will also get the panel's support worth an estimated for Huarache Shoes For Girls
and will run throughout the summer.
The winner will have the ambition and drive to develop a business which is sustainable, adds value to the city centre offer, improves the retail/leisure mix and has an element of innovation.
The unique initiative, called Nike Huarache Running Shoes Inspiring Retail Nottingham 2013, was launched today and is a city wide competition to find either would be retailers or existing shop or restaurant owners who want to expand their current businesses.
There will be a helpline offering advice to candidates on the process. Deadlines for entries will be September 9 and the shortlist announced on October 11 with retailers pitching their ideas on November 13. The winners revealed on November 21.
NBV, which has won the contract to provide business support to the city council, will be acting as business mentors to the winners and the eight shortlisted.
New retailers are being asked to come forward and apply along with existing retailers with no more than one unit who want to expand their businesses.
The competition, which requires candidates to apply online, launches today Nike Huarache Maroon And White
"The winning retailers will not just receive funding, but a support package worth thousands of pounds. It is vital that a retailer has support to develop and progress over the year."
Inspiring Retail is looking for retail or leisure businesses wanting to set up in the city centre.
The initiative has been funded through the High Street Innovation Fund, which was given to a number of UK towns and cities following retail guru Mary Portas' review of the future town centres.
The aim is to invite potential retailers to enter the competition with ten shortlisted finalists pitching their business ideas to an Inspiring Retail Dragons' Den style panel in the autumn.
Helen Andrews, of Rizk McCay, said: "It's for someone who has always wanted to set up a shop, or perhaps a graduate who has a burning desire and a creative idea.
Two winners one in the over 30 category, and one in the under 30 category will then be announced at a special presentation evening in November.
"We know that there will be some people out there with fantastic ideas for a shop or Nike Huarache Black And White Women
Peter Thornley, of Fraser Brown, said: "At a time when high streets in the UK are struggling, we want to breathe new life into Nottingham city centre. This is a time when independent retailers can shine and show their presence in our shopping areas.
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