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The Belfast Business Idea Award

This competition, powered by Belfast City Council and supported by Pacem Accounting and Tax Advisory, is designed to unearth, recognise and help fast track the best business ideas in Belfast.

We’ll be assessing the strength of the idea rather than the achievements of the venture so far, so those who are at idea, concept or pre-start stage stand as much chance of winning as those who have already set up a business. The prize pool is outstanding and will make a real difference to early stage businesses and those thinking of taking their idea to the next stage.

Who is eligible to apply? 

  • those who have a business idea, but have not yet acted on it 
  • those who are immediately pre-start 
  • those who have just started-up 
  • those who are in business and have been trading for less than one year
Applicants must: 
  • reside within the Belfast City Council area, or have a business registered there 
  • be over 16 years of age (if aged 16-17 applicants must have parental approval) 
  • be available to attend finalist’s night on Tuesday 19 November, when the three winning ideas will be announced, with each winner being given 120 seconds to pitch for the £2,000 cash prize. 

Why enter? 

  • the overall winner will receive £2,000 plus a support package worth over £5,000 
  • two runners-up will receive a support package worth over £5,000 which includes: 
    • One year rent-free city centre co-working space in Barclays Eagle Labs 
    • One year fee-free accounting service (including software) from Pacem Accounting & Tax Advisory
    • One year fee-free banking with Barclays Bank 
    • One free place on an accredited ‘Digital Marketing Communications’ short course at Ulster University 
  • all applicants will be invited to finalists’ night where they will hear from one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and network with like-minded entrepreneurs and experts who can help progress their idea. 

Important dates 

  • Deadline for applications: 12 noon, Thursday 31 October
  • Finalists’ night: 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Tuesday 19 November 

Apply now

  • Apply now through our to online registration form

Please note: 

  • Applications must be submitted before 12 noon, Thursday 31 October 2019. 
  • All applications must be submitted using the online application form. • Applicants must be based in the Belfast City Council area. 
  • Applicants must be available to attend finalists’ night on Tuesday 19 November (5.30pm – 7.30pm, venue to be confirmed). 
  • Belfast City Council cannot take responsibility for entries which are lost or delayed. 
  • Belfast City Council reserves the right to publicise the competition and the winners. (Including photography of participants – for promotional use on website, social, etc.) 
  • Belfast City Council’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 
  • All applications will be considered by a panel of independent, professional business leaders.
  • All information provided in the application is strictly confidential and will not be shared beyond the organisers and sponsor. By entering the award, you agree to your information being shared with these organisations. 
  • Please do not exceed the word count limit when completing this application. Doing so will disqualify your submission. 
  • Due to the anticipated number of applicants we will be unable to provide feedback on applications. Organisers reserve the right to alter award details including the deadline. 
  • Please contact Jessica Cullen at or call 028 9076 1030 with any queries you may have in relation to the Belfast Business Idea Award. 
  • Privacy Notice: Belfast City Council is the Data Controller under Data Protection legislation for the personal data gathered on this form. Belfast City Council will use the information that you provide for the purposes of participation in the competition. By signing this form, you are providing your personal data and associated group information on the basis of consent. Personal data may be shared between council staff who are involved in managing this competition. It will not be shared or disclosed to any other organisation without your consent or unless the law places an obligation on the council to do so. Personal data is held and stored by the council in a safe and secure manner and in compliance with Data Protection legislation. It is also held in line with the council’s retention and disposal schedule. If you have a query regarding your personal data or you wish access to it, please contact the Belfast City Council Economic Development Officer (Place and Economy Department) on 028 9091 8753.
  • By entering this competition, individuals agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. 
  • This competition is governed by the law of Northern Ireland.