City revision guide firm makes funding shortlist

John MacPherson, left, and Alan Grierson have seen orders for their study aids double twice. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
John MacPherson, left, and Alan Grierson have seen orders for their study aids double twice. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A FIRM providing the last word in exam revision guides has beaten over 400 other companies to make it to the shortlist of a national competition to win £10,000.

Bright Red Publishing, based in Torphichen Street, has already seen orders for its study and revision guides double and then double again during its time in the Local Business Accelerator competition.

John MacPherson, who runs the firm alongside friends Alan Grierson and Richard Bass, said the company was working “flat out” to keep up with the demand.

John said: “We’ve had so much fantastic feedback during the other stages of the competition, it’s been a amazing boost for the business.

“Currently we’re working flat out to have everything ready for the schools going back in a few weeks.

“The response we’ve had at each stage of the competition has been absolutely phenomenal. We saw orders double when we were named as one of the top Edinburgh contenders, then they doubled again when we were announced as regional winner. There’s only five people in total working for the company so it’s kept us pretty busy.”

Bright Red Publishing is one of only 15 businesses out of 500 original contenders to make it to this stage of the competition. All are being given a year’s free access to FreeAgent’s accountancy software, valued at £300 per business.

A further shortlist is set to be announced in September, when the trio will find out whether they will be heading to the prestigious national final in London to face a judging panel consisting of Dragons’ Den’s own Deborah Meaden, ICAEW executive director Robin Fieth, Business Growth Fund chief executive Stephen Welton, BIS deputy director enterprise strategy Gemma Peck, St Luke’s creative director Al Young, and NS communications and marketing director Lynne Anderson.

Dragon Deborah said: “Very many congratulations to all the businesses on the shortlist. They represent the very best in British business and I’m looking forward to working closely with the overall winner of LBA to help them go on to realise their full potential.”

In addition to mentoring from Deborah Meaden herself and a free local press ad campaign designed by a top London agency, the winner will receive £10,000 cash from the Business Growth Fund, an iPad from FreeAgent, a year’s free membership of the CBI, £2000 worth of business advice from the ICAEW, and free business broadband and wifi access for a year from BT.

Backing from the PM

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England and Prime Minister David Cameron have long been supporters of the Local Business Accelerator competition, which is open to businesses aged between one and five years old.

David Cameron said: “The Local Business Accelerators campaign has provided tremendous support to fledgling businesses across the country.

“I hope more young businesses put themselves forward in future and get involved with this innovative scheme.”