Prague, 7 June – Within only three weeks since the start of this year’s edition of the Takeoffs 2012 competition, over 800 users have signed up, more than a hundred of which have already entered their projects. Just like in last year’s edition, participants in Prague and Central Bohemia have so far been the most active; however, South Bohemia, Moravia-Silesia and the Olomouc region are also strongly represented this year. The male/female ratio of applicants is roughly 60:40.
“The desire to stand on their own feet is very strong in a number of participants. This year we have strengthened consultancy offered already at project-registration stage, in particular by means of an online advice centre, where interested parties can learn, for example, how to draft a business plan or how to gain the interest of the jury. Representatives of KnowHowKlub, one of our partners, are also available in person and they are ready to assist with completing the application itself if required,” says Petra Pavičová, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at T-Mobile, adding: “Last year, 343 ideas competed in the project; the present development raises hopes that this year the figure could even be exceeded.”
This year marks the second time that T-Mobile has announced the Takeoffs project aimed at start-up businesses. The most frequently occurring ideas are on-line shops and kindergartens, but there are also original ideas such as a salad bar, a personal football coach for children, sale of cider, a shop with plus-size clothing and an inexpensive transit hotel near the airport. 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.
Those interested in joining the competition have seven days after entering their project to make additions to their applications and only then will their projects be finally registered. The above mentioned one-week period also allows the organisers to check anything they are not clear about. So far, one hundred projects have been approved, though there are nearly 200 projects at the stage of additions and checking.
“Most doubts that need to be clarified are related to the duration of trade-licence validity. The competition is designed for people who have been actively doing business for no more than 12 months; however, in the Czech Republic there are a lot of people who have had a trade licence for a longer time without actually using it. These participants would make the situation easier for us if at the time of registration they attached a document proving that they have actually been doing business for no more than one year,” explains Pavičová. “The applicants should also be more careful when filling in the forms to allow the jury to get a better idea of the plan itself. The know-how is available at our online advice centre.”
Course of the competition
From 15 May to 15 June 2012, everyone who started their business in the past 12 months, or is planning to start a business, may submit their application in the regional rounds of the competition. Competing projects will be evaluated by regional 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, a 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.
Workshops will be held in nine regional cities during the summer, at which 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 seminars 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.takeoffsroku.cz.
A total of 42 winners will receive prizes in the aggregate 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 experts in marketing, business and sales skills and business strategy about their work problems. Such consultancy would otherwise cost them thousands of crowns.
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.
The project registration form and further information on Takeoffs including detailed rules are 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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