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Barclays to boost new business

BARCLAYS, the UK’s second-largest bank, is today launching a campaign to boost renewed optimism in the business world, offering £500,000 to the country’s most promising entrepreneurs in conjunction with Ariadne Capital boss and City A.M. columnist Julie Meyer.

The “Take One Small Step” competition will award an equal share of £500,000 in cash to each of the ten freshest business ideas in the UK. It comes after research by Barclays showed that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are expected to create two million new jobs for the economy over the coming year.

Meyer, who also stars in the online version of TV show Dragon’s Den, said: “The UK is now the world’s breeding ground of the brightest and most inventive business ideas and the last 12 months has in many cases steeled people’s determination to make a success of a new venture.

“I have seen time and again how a good idea with the right support can change lives, not just of those that initially developed it but the people involved in its continued growth and success.”