ENTREPRENEURS and innovators who got started in Clacks during the pandemic could scoop thousands of pounds worth of support in a Dragons' Den style competition.

Ceteris and Business Gateway Clackmannanshire are organising The HEAT 2022 competition for businesses in the Forth Valley area with less than one year of trading.

Set to go ahead for an eighth year and as part of Clackmannanshire Business Week in March, it is hoped the competition will be able to return with a face-to-face final heat, having gone virtual last year.

Recent start-ups and those with an idea that can be turned into a business are being sought from across Clacks, Stirling and Falkirk with the winner offered nearly £5,000 worth of business support, including £500 in cash.

Mandy Campbell, start-up business adviser at Ceteris, told the Advertiser: “Last year we had to do it virtually, which was different, but it seemed to work quite well.

“This year, we are definitely hoping to have a physical event like normal at the business centre.”

The current Highlighting Entrepreneurship All Together (HEAT) champion is Kairos Vitality, who offer comprehensive health and well-being support to their customers through their range of natural, whole-food supplements and delivery of a unique programme of individualised functional programmes tailored to optimise functional fitness.

Their profits help to support the creation of training and employment for young adults on the Autism spectrum or with additional support needs; and to care for carers when they need a little extra support.

Other previous winners included an inventor of magnetic post-it notes, a golf rewards up, a clothing range for breastfeeding mothers, a bridal wear company, a manufacturer of bespoke children's furniture, jam makers and much more.

Mandy added: “A lot of businesses have moved online with the pandemic, so it will be interesting to see what businesses and new ideas have come in this year.”

Those entering the competition will be invited to a practice pitch day on March 1 with the top 10 going into the final to meet the Forth Valley dragons on March 15.

Visit bit.ly/3FAoS9r for more information and to enter.