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Mantle flourishes out of Grow with the Show 21 Feb

Mantle, which modifies shipping containers into customised, unique and versatile spaces, was the winner of the Show's annual Grow with the Show competition in 2016. Now co-owner Sophie Bulgin is encouraging other entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity and enter too.

Sophie, co-owner of Mantle with her partner Aaron Walker, said: "Grow with the Show made a huge difference to us. It saw us generate key business leads at the Lincolnshire Show which then led to developing lasting business relationships.

"It was a huge boost for us and ensured a strong start to the business. Having support to meet our key client base at no cost at an event the size of the Show was fantastic."

The competition, which is now open to entries for 2017, aims to help new Lincolnshire businesses by giving them the platform and tools needed to excel in the crucial early stages of setting up and establishing their businesses.

Each year, the winning business receives the opportunity to showcase their business in front of 60,000 people at the Show in June. They will also win a £250 cash prize, business mentoring from the Sparkhouse team at the University of Lincoln, a detailed website review worth £300 from Root Studio, and an invitation to the Lincolnshire Media Business Awards.

Sophie added: "The prize on offer was a massive draw for us. Winning meant we became well established with little cost. We went on to work with clients ranging from domestic garden offices, to event management companies, and local authorities.

"My advice to any entrepreneurs out there looking to apply would be to do their research and make sure they squeeze every ounce of passion into their applications."

The competition, hosted by the Lincolnshire Showground, is open to any person aged between 18 and 35, based in Lincolnshire, and who has started their own business within the past three years.

Jayne Southall, CEO of Lincolnshire Showground, said: "We are thrilled to be welcoming back Grow with the Show for the fourth year in a row. The competition is a fantastic chance for a small and talented business owner to get their business off the ground and significantly increase their profile.

"It is great to see how much it has helped Mantle and now we're really looking forward to inviting local businesses and supporting new start-ups. It's rewarding to have an impact in their business development and watch them grow."

The Lincolnshire Show returns for the 133rd year on 21 and 22 June. The closing date for Grow with the Show entries is 10 March 2017. The shortlisted nominees will be invited to meet with a panel of judges on 24 March with the winner being announced at the end of March.

The runner up will also receive £100 and two society guest badges providing free admission to the Lincolnshire Show over the two days and access to the exclusive member's area.

To find out more and to apply for Grow with the Show, click here or pick up an application form from the Lincolnshire Showground, Lincolnshire Echo, The Princes Trust or Sparkhouse.

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