Into the dragons den business mentoring and the Local Business Accelerator awards.

An award-winning Yorkshire brewery is in line to be one of just a handful of small businesses challenging for this year’s Local Business Accelerator awards. Ilkley Brewery has made it to Yorkshire’s final shortlist, capping an already-fantastic year in which the company has seen its business grow by more than 100 percent. The small business has also received seven awards in the last twelve months for its premium beers, including a silver medal for Stout Mary at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Northern Region Beer Competition. Ilkley Brewery is planning to expand during 2012 and is looking to add a further six beers to its catalogue. Now you may wonder why such an apparently successful company is entering such a competition when business is obviously thriving. Well, apart from the prestige of winning the award itself, there’s the small matter of the prize. Before you ask, it isn’t money. It’s a year’s worth of businesses mentoring from Dragons’ Den judge, Deborah Meadon.

So why is this business mentoring so important to Ilkley Brewery? Well, according to Chris Ives, one of the brewery’s three directors it’s because they’ll need expert advice and guidance from a proven business brain if they are to fulfil their ambitious expansion plans:

“The rate at which the brewery has continued to grow this year has been astonishing. Levels of demand have been higher than we envisaged, meaning the fifth fermentor was a must if we were to deliver on every order. It’s been a fast-paced but exciting year which will put us on a front foot for 2012.”

Fellow director, Richard Shelton added:

“When we started the brewery we wanted to make good beers that our customers enjoyed. We hope we have achieved that and in 2012 we plan to build upon the knowledge we have gained over the last three years and brew really creative, innovative new beers to tempt the palates of all beer fans. We are planning to unveil at least six new beers in 2012 and also hope to continue developing our craft beers, including MJ Artisan Ales, to target bars, restaurants and hotels which will help bring our products to new and more diverse audiences.”

So how will the advice and mentoring from Deborah Meadon aid the business? What specific help is the brewery looking for? Well as a highly successful entrepreneur and business woman, she has a wealth of experience in helping businesses consolidate their existing share of the market, which is particularly important in the challenging year that lies ahead. She will also be able to offer advice on the best ways to help the company grow and expand. Deborah Meadon is a proven business mentor, who knows what it takes to make businesses successful. She’ll be able to give the winning company advice on researching the market, planning growth strategies and pitching to new audiences, as well as sharing her extensive knowledge of marketing. Having started her own business from nothing, she’ll have experienced the same sort of problems and challenges that face all small businesses, and she’ll be able to offer advice and guidance on how best these challenges can be overcome. With that sort of priceless inside advice is it any wonder that Ilkley brewery is keen to scoop up the award?

The winner of the Local Business Accelerators campaign will be announced in January and will also receive an advertising campaign by a London agency.

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