Marketing Derby launches search for Rising Star 2021

Marketing Derby launches search for Rising Star 2021

Marketing Derby is calling on up-and-coming entrepreneurs to enter its annual Rising Star competition, which aims to give a helping hand to fledgling businesses.

Each year, the city and county’s inward investment agency, gives the opportunity for a new business to receive a complimentary year of Bondholder membership, along with local publicity and invitations to must-attend events.

Entries are now being accepted to find the Rising Star for 2021.

This year, the title of Rising Star went to Katie Lavis of Little Starts Gift Cards.

Based in Melbourne, the firm offers customers the chance to buy a range of tailored activities and experiences for parents to enjoy with their babies and young children as gifts, instead of traditional presents like a bunch of flowers or vouchers for the high street.

Katie said: “Winning the Marketing Derby Rising Star award, particularly in recognition of our innovation, was a huge privilege.

“Receiving the award initially enabled us to raise our profile locally among the local business community, both through the events we initially attended and the press coverage that followed."

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted Katie's business this year – and as a gesture of goodwill, Marketing Derby has extended her Bondholder membership into 2021.

She said: “While we have not been able to utilise our membership as fully as we would have liked due to Covid (and my familial responsibilities that have been impacted by this, which have prevented me from attending online events), I was able to meet and develop relationships with a supportive network of professionals and entrepreneurs beforehand.


“We have been able to tap into them for advice and support as and when we have needed it. I look forward to developing these relationships further in 2021 as our membership and Rising Star award is extended for another year!”


Lindsey Hatfield, from Marketing Derby, said: “Since Ed Hollands became our first Rising Star with his fledgling company Driven Media in 2016, the award has become a serious game changer to the winner and their business.


“We decided that it would only be fair to offer Katie another year of membership since she has missed out on some of the opportunities that would normally be available.


“Last year, we had more applications than ever before and this year I am excited to read all of the business ideas, some of which may have been created as a result of lockdown.”


To apply to be the Marketing Derby Rising Star for 2021, please e-mail: by 17th December 2020 and outline your business idea, a brief background of your story so far and why you would like to become the next Rising Star.


The applications will be short-listed and successful applicants invited for a short interview and a winner announced at Marketing Derby’s Annual Business Event on 15th January 2021.


Applicants must be in their first 18 months of business and willing to attend at least ten Bondholder events, either online or face-to-face (when guidelines allow), during their year as Rising Star.

Back to news