Empowering the Freelance Economy

Vodafone launches new ‘Shout Out for Small Businesses’ competition offering bespoke mentoring session with Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett

One winning business will win a bespoke, face-to-face business mentoring session with entrepreneur and BBC Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett/Photo source: Vodafone
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  • Vodafone has launched its second Shout Out for Small Businesses competition.
  • One winning business will win a bespoke, face-to-face business mentoring session with entrepreneur and BBC Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett.
  • Ten runner-up businesses will receive free social media marketing boosts on Facebook and Instagram worth more than £3,000 per business, and a digital business strategy session with a Vodafone V-Hub advisor.
  • Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges including Steven Bartlett, Enterprise Nation Founder Emma Jones CBE and Vodafone’s Head of Small Business, Andrew Stevens.

Vodafone has today launched its second Shout Out for Small Businesses campaign, offering one lucky small business owner the opportunity to win a bespoke mentoring session in London with entrepreneur and newest addition to the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme Steven Bartlett.

Who is Steven Bartlett?

Steven Bartlett was recently announced as an ambassador for Vodafone’s small business support programme/Photo source: Vodafone

Steven Bartlett is a university drop-out who built one of the world’s most successful social media companies, took it public in 2019, then resigned as CEO in 2020 aged just 27. Today, the Social Chain, the social media company he founded, has a market valuation of around £300m.

More recently he has turned his focus to investment, and the Bartlett brand is the most successful client on his roster. His podcast, ‘The Diary of a CEO’, is the most downloaded business podcast in Europe, and he was recently revealed as the latest entrepreneur to take a seat on the BBC hit series, Dragons’ Den.

Having started his own successful business at just 22 years old, Steven – now 29 – will meet the winning entrepreneur in London to provide a tailored assessment of their business and identify growth opportunities.

The winning business will also receive a dedicated Facebook and Instagram social media marketing campaign boost worth in excess of £3,000 – giving the business exposure to a potential audience of millions – and an in-depth digital business strategy session with a Vodafone V-Hub advisor.

Ten runner-up businesses will each receive the dedicated social media marketing campaign boost and an in-depth digital business strategy session with a Vodafone V-Hub adviser.

What is Shout Out for Small Businesses?

Shout Out for Small Businesses celebrates those businesses who are using digital skills and technology to drive their businesses forward in innovative ways and within a challenging business environment.

The first competition, launched earlier this year, attracted entries from small businesses across the UK and gave winning businesses an audience of millions thanks to the social media marketing boost they received.

Steven Bartlett, Vodafone Business Ambassador and entrepreneur said: “It’s obviously a tough environment for small businesses right now, but it’s also inspiring to see the skill and tenacity of so many people shine through as they navigate the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

“Digital is one of the most important tools available to small businesses to compete and succeed in challenging circumstances. It’s one of the reasons why I set up Social Chain – to help businesses connect with their communities and reach customers in more meaningful and creative ways.

“I know we’re going to see plenty of creativity on display from the Shout Out for Small Businesses entrants, and I’m really looking forward to sharing my insights and guidance with the overall winner.” 

With record numbers of start-ups launching during the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners across the country are now leveraging more digital tools and techniques than ever to stand out online. More than 400,000 new companies were formed in 2020 alone, according to figures from the Centre For Entrepreneurs.

Andrew Stevens, Head of Small Business, Vodafone UK, said: “After the huge success of our Shout Out for Small Businesses campaign back in February, we’ve launched a new competition to help even more companies across the country.

“The shift to digital during the pandemic created huge new opportunities for small businesses, and we want to hear the amazing stories of tenacity, bravery and innovation through these very tough times. We’re excited to be able to use our own online presence and experience to give them a boost.”

How can I enter the Shout Out for Small Business competition?

To enter, businesses should head to the Vodafone V-Hub entry form, where they can share their stories on how they’ve used digital tools, skills, and platforms in innovative ways to help supercharge their business. Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges including Steven Bartlett, Enterprise Nation Founder Emma Jones CBE and Vodafone’s Head of Small Business, Andrew Stevens.

The winning businesses will be selected based on the impact of their actions on the performance of their business. Entry is free and open to all UK small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) across the UK until 26 November 2021.

Emma Jones CBE, Founder Enterprise Nation, said: “I’m delighted to be involved for a second year in this competition that celebrates amazing small business owners who have embraced digital skills and platforms to power their business. Every day I am motivated by the incredible stories of people who turn a passion or idea into a way of making a living and this competition will be full of such stories – it will be tough to judge!”

Find out more about Vodafone’s Shout Out for Small Businesses campaign and enter yourself.

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