The owner of a bicycle service centre pocketed £2000 after winning ’best startup’ in a Sheffield business competition.


Bike Rehab owner Alex Gunn, 27, wowed judges at the Enterprising Ideas Business Planning Competition, winning the Business Startup category with his forward thinking business plan.


After receiving the award Alex said: “Winning this award, just before Bike Rehab’s first anniversary, shows I have a sustainable business model and we can plan for the next step, which is taking on local people.”


The young entrepreneur recently hired his first employee, and the money will enable Alex to buy new tools and expand his workshop to accommodate a local apprentice.


Steve Bell, Head of Corporate Finance at Hart Shaw in Sheffield and judge of the competition said:  “Alex is able to show a clear strategy. He understands his market but also has identified what differentiates his business from his competition."


Kevin Bennett, Head of Enterprise at Creative Sheffield, applauded Alex’s business plan, saying that it: “was extremely well researched and constructed and came across as something that will be a tool for developing the business.


“Perhaps most impressive was Alex himself. He has a very clear vision for the business and how he wants to develop it.


“He has recognised that he needs to spend less time working in the business and put more effort working on the next steps.


“To this end, he has taken on a member of staff and has put himself through a University business development programme to aid his thinking and progression, all signs of a successful entrepreneur of the future,” said Kevin.


The annual competition, which took place on 8 May and was sponsored by Santander and Creative Sheffield, is run by University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE).


Samantha Deakin, Marketing Coordinator at USE, said: “Enterprise is having ideas and doing something about them.


“The Enterprising Ideas competition is an excellent opportunity for entrants to get their idea or business down onto paper, get critical feedback, tap into our startup support services here at USE and maybe win some cash to help them make their idea happen.”


Alex advises budding entrepreneurs to take time to plan and prepare a business plan.


“Don’t be put off by setbacks, use them as challenges to make your business stronger and make sure you have fun in the process,” said Alex.


Bike Entrepreneur Wins Business Competition‏