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Grants awarded to entrepreneurs and start-up business owners

11 March 2024

Organisations providing youth coaching, DJ training and historic transport model kits have all won the £10,000 top prize in the Business & Intellectual Property Centre Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (BIPC) annual Jumpstart awards.

BIPC, run by Cambridgeshire County Council’s library service, offers free and low-cost business support and advice to start-up business owners, entrepreneurs, and inventors across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The 2023/24 programme was three times bigger than in previous years thanks to funding from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund via Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Businesses had to pitch to a panel of judges for a share of £75,000 of funding. Platinum, gold, silver and bronze winners were then chosen for Huntingdonshire, South Cambridgeshire, and all other district areas (Cambridge City, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland and Peterborough).

The winners were presented with their prizes at a special ceremony at the Delta Hotels by Marriott in Huntingdon on Wednesday 6 March.

Karla Polk, who runs Rewind DJ School in Cambridge, was a platinum winner. She received the £10,000 grant for her business, which delivers inclusive DJ workshops in collaboration with organisations for youth projects, alternative provisions, colleges, and other community events.

She said: “I’m so pleased to have been selected to receive a £10,000 grant. I never expected this when I applied to the Jumpstart programme.

“I’ve been a DJ and producer since 2006 and the business has been a huge passion-project for me.

“This money will help me to reach more young people with an interest in mixing music.”

The other platinum winners, receiving £10,000 of the prize money, were David Duker, who runs RISE Youth Coaching in Huntingdonshire and Chris Jefferson who runs Retro Mold in South Cambridgeshire.

There were also three gold winners, who were each awarded £6,000, three silver winners who were awarded £4,000 and 15 bronze winners who were awarded £1,000. The full list of winners being found on the BIPC Jumpstart website here.

Cllr Tom Sanderson, Chair of the Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee, said: “A huge congratulations to all the winners in this year’s Jumpstart programme.

“Setting up a business can be a daunting task, but we hope this prize money goes some way to helping all of them thrive.

“We look forward to seeing how others benefit from their services across Cambridgeshire over the coming years.”