A record number of 483 projects have been registered by beginning entrepreneurs in the eighth edition of T-Mobile Takeoffs. As in past editions, the largest number of projects originated in Prague, where 123 projects will compete. Seventy projects were registered by beginning entrepreneurs in the South Moravia region, with the Moravia-Silesia region ranking third with 47 applications. The usually second most active region in terms of business ideas – Central Bohemia – placed fourth this year with 42 projects. Nearly half (48%, 232 in absolute terms) of competing entrepreneurs are in the 25-34 age category. But the younger generation is also interested in taking part in the programme, as 18% of applications were submitted by entrepreneurs up to the age of 24. This year, the participants want to do business most often in design and recreational activities; the number of ideas involving information technologies was surprising. In addition to several cat cafés, the projects included a café for dogs, several improvements for wheelchairs and even an anti-stress demolition room. Men and women are represented among the participants equally. An interesting fact is that the reasons competitors want to start their own business increasingly include independence and freedom – whether independence from an employer, freedom to make decisions or the desire to have a passive income that would enable the competing entrepreneurs and their families to enjoy life.
“We appreciate the courage of all beginning entrepreneurs and their decision to link their beginnings with T-Mobile Takeoffs,” says Eva Karasová, CSR Manager at T-Mobile, commenting on the results. “We were pleased by the number of applications. We believe that this is not only thanks to an established programme but also to economic recovery. More than 44,000 entrepreneurs have obtained a trade licence in the past year.”
The applications submitted in the competition mirror the development in the number of trade licences issued in the past year. The most active regions are Central Bohemia and Prague, while the lowest number of new entrepreneurs per capita is reported in the Karlovy Vary and Zlín regions. Eighteen percent of people in the Czech Republic are now registered to do business. In Prague, that figure rises to 23.64% (i.e., nearly every fourth person has a trade licence) and in Liberec to 20.42% (every fifth person). Conversely, the entrepreneurship rate in the Moravia-Silesia and Ústí nad Labem regions is significantly lower at 15.20% and 15.53%, respectively.
The regional rounds of the competition will now take place. Juries composed of experts, successful entrepreneurs and investors, such as Margareta Křížová and Martin Korman, will judge not only innovative ideas but also the successful implementation of each entrant’s business plan. At workshops that will be held between 17 April and 17 May (a list of dates and cities can be found here), hundreds of beginning entrepreneurs can receive consultancy in the areas of finance and marketing.
“For businesses at the starting line, it is important to not only know how they should present themselves on the internet, but also to recognise that this environment offers them opportunities when fulfilling their business plans,” explains Adriana Petruláková, Marketing Coordinator, Agentura Najisto.
The workshops are free of charge and are open not only to the competing entrepreneurs but to everybody interested in doing business. All they need to do is register on the website at www.rozjezdy.cz.
Two national winners will be selected from among the regional winners – one winner will be selected by the jury, the other by the public. This year, the overall winner will receive prizes worth CZK 566,332 in total, including a financial donation of CZK 250,000 from T-Mobile, a creative draft of an advertising campaign, consultancy and tangible prizes from the partners of the competition.
T-Mobile Takeoffs, a project aimed at supporting beginning entrepreneurs, will head to the regions for the eighth time. More than 80 day-long workshops were attended by more than 4,100 beginning entrepreneurs. Within the competition, the jury evaluated 3,000 registered projects, of which 381 were awarded prizes in the aggregate amount of nearly CZK 36 million.
T-Mobile Takeoffs is a long-term programme aimed at supporting start-up businesses. It offers free regional workshops on issues relating to starting a business; another part of the programme involves a competition for the best implementation of a business idea. During the period from January to March, those who have not yet started a business or who received a business licence in the past 12 months can register in the competition at www.rozjezdy.cz. In each region, three programme participants can win and receive financial support, advisory services from experts in different areas of business, packages of services and tangible prizes to help them launch their business. The national winner is selected by the jury. In addition to that, online voting is held to determine the winner of the prize of the public. Free regional workshops that are open to the broader public take place in April and May.
The partners of this year’s edition of T-Mobile Takeoffs are Broker Consulting, Agentura Najisto, Alza, Samsung and StartupJobs. The expert partners were Lovebrand, MADE BY VACULIK and Proboston, and the regional partners are Dům Techniky Pardubice (House of Technology Pardubice), Impact Hub Brno, Impact Hub Ostrava, the Faculty of Social and Economic Studies of Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Innovation Centre of the Ústí nad Labem Region and the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Plzeň Region.
T-Mobile Czech Republic, a member of the international telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, is with its more than 6.2 million customers the number-one operator in the Czech market. T-Mobile is an integrated operator: in addition to converged telecommunications services, it offers TV and comprehensive ICT solutions. It provides outstanding services in the high-speed network, which was proved repeatedly by benchmark testing performed by umlaut (former P3) with Best-in-Test seal.
T-Mobile Czech Republic places emphasis on taking a responsible approach to the environment and society. It adheres to fair business practices, helps beneficial applications and services to see the light of day, supports non-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals, and lends a helping hand whenever crisis situations arise. The company’s employees serve as volunteers in many places across the entire Czech Republic.
More information about the company is available at www.t-mobile.cz, www.t-press.cz (the portal for journalists), www.t-mobile.cz/pomahame (information on the company’s CSR activities) and www.rozjezdy.cz (T-Mobile Takeoffs of the Year – a program to support small businesses).
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