Prague, 18 June 2012 – A total of 360 candidates who have already started their business or are preparing to bring their freshly conceived ideas to life have submitted their applications in the Takeoffs 2012 project. Despite the fact that the project’s organiser, T-Mobile, has curtailed the participation of non-profit organisations and the number of competing projects per person for this year’s edition, the number of applications has exceeded the number of registrations in Takeoffs 2011 by several dozen projects.
As in the first edition of the Takeoffs project, the most active candidates are in Prague and Central Bohemia, though a significant number of applications have been submitted in the Moravia-Silesia region this year. Slightly more than half of the candidates have already started their business and the ratio of men to women among registered candidates is similar. Both men and women say that the impetus for starting their business was to make their dream come true (approx. 80% for both genders). However, the second most common reason differs significantly by gender: 70% of men state the desire to become independent while 70% of women wish to achieve a better work-life balance.
The competing projects most frequently involve e-shops, kindergartens, music clubs, cafés and restaurants, but there are also such original ideas as adaptive clothing for wheelchair users (Zlín region), car manufacturing (South Bohemia) and Czech cider production (Central Bohemia). Candidates also include a personal football coach for kids (Liberec region) and a shop selling plus-size clothing (Prague).
“The spectrum of competing projects is really very broad this year and I’m looking forward to meeting their originators in person,” says Petra Pavičová, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at T-Mobile, adding: “At the same time I think that jurors will have a tough time in all regions, as so many interesting and well thought-out projects will compete in some regions that it will probably be the personal presentation by their originators that tips the scales in the final round.”
Registration for Takesoffs 2012 has closed, but start-up businesses can now apply to participate in regional workshops that will be held in July in Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, Ostrava and Olomouc. Workshops are primarily intended for start-up businesses. All participants will have an opportunity to consult with experts in dealing with the authorities, business thinking, general marketing, online marketing and other fields. Representatives of municipal authorities will present the forms of support for start-up businesses. These workshops are free of charge and are open to the general public (although originators of projects competing in Takeoffs have priority). It is only necessary to register early enough at www.rozjezdyroku.cz.
The Takeoffs project is aimed at start-up businesses. This year, T-Mobile organises the second edition of the project. As part of the project, participants can benefit from support by experienced experts from the mobile operator and specialist partners: Seznam.cz, Nokia, Neocont and Zalozfirmu.cz. Three winners in each region will receive prizes in the value of CZK 70,000 or CZK 250,000. Together with consultations in the field of marketing, setting up companies and online marketing, this is significant help in starting a business. Also this year, T-Mobile and its partners will in this way help 42 businesspeople to stand on their own feet.
Everyone who started their business in the past 12 months, or is planning to start a business, could submit their application in the competition. Projects competing in the individual regions will be evaluated by juries composed of representatives of T-Mobile, successful businesspeople from the respective regions, representatives of the partners of the competition and in some places also of winners of the first edition of Takeoffs. In most regions, the jury will also include representatives of the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic, the main expert partner of the project, whose knowledge of local circumstances is indispensable particularly in the regional part of the competition, as a given project’s benefit for the local community is an important criterion in the evaluation of the projects.
During summer, regional workshops will be held in nine cities. A total of 42 winners will receive prizes in the total value of CZK 5.5 million: notebooks, telecommunications and marketing packages from T-Mobile and Nokia Lumia 610 handsets donated by Nokia. All winners will also have an opportunity to consult their everyday problems with experts in marketing, business and sales skills and business strategy. Such consultancy would otherwise cost them thousands of crowns per hour.
Winners of the regional rounds can look forward to participating in the final voting by the public, which will bring them publicity and thus more prospective customers.
Detailed information on Takeoffs including detailed rules is available here.
T-Mobile Czech Republic, a member of the international telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, is with its almost 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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