We're launching a new search for business entrepreneurs

We're inviting entrepreneurs and new businesses to take part in a start-up scheme aimed at boosting their chances of success.

Working in partnership with the FAB Accelerator team, we've put together our own programme designed to support locally-based firms.

The opportunity is open to any business which is less than two years old or has fewer than five employees, is based within 20 miles of Blenheim, and can provide something which could be stocked in our shops.

Applications will need to be submitted by the 10th May and the successful candidates will be notified by 24th May.

They will then have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Blenheim's senior management team over the summer.

After undergoing presentation training, they will take part in a final pitch on 26th June when the winning applicant will be selected and awarded with a contract to supply their products to our retail outlets.

In addition to the contract, the winner will also receive ongoing tips and advice from members of the Blenheim management team.

Dominic Hare, Blenheim's CEO said:

“As part of our stated goal to triple our economic contribution to the local community within 10 years Blenheim is committed to providing start-up businesses with support and a busy marketplace to showcase their products.

By using the expertise and experience of the FAB Accelerator team we've been able to set up our own programme to identify, support and develop exciting new businesses in the area."

Last year's competition attracted more than 50 entrants of which eight went through to the final pitching process.

Neve's Bees, which produces 100% natural beeswax skincare products, and designer and artist Kathryn Croxson, who creates a range fo clothing, accessories and homeware, were both selected and had their products go on sale at Blenheim Palace.

Julie Macken, of Neve's Bees, said:

“I would highly recommend entering the Blenheim Start-up Competition: the exposure we have gained from being in the shop has increased our brand awareness many-fold and the kudos of being associated with such a 'high-end' outlet has opened many doors.

In addition to this, the extra revenue from selling in a large outlet has enabled us to invest in our new gift packaging, allowing us to enter a far bigger marketplace. We are now developing a range of Neve's Bees products using Cotswold Lavender with exclusive designs for Blenheim Palace which we hope will secure a longer term future for us with Blenheim."

The brainchild of Fabulous Bakin' Boys' founder Gary Frank, FAB was Oxford's first accelerator programme for ambitious entrepreneurs and startups.

Anyone interested in taking part in the Blenheim Accelerator competition can find out the full details and enter at blenheim.org/startup.