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Jun 09

Liverpool Venture reaches ‘Pitch to Rich’ Final Stage

Hand bag business urges supporters to vote it into £150k final stage of Sir Richard Branson initiative.

A fledgling Liverpool venture has made it through to the last 10 finalists in the ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition.

Serial entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson challenged entrepreneurs to bid for £150,000 of funding, as well as exposure and mentoring, in his annual competition for promising new businesses.

Four Merseyside hopefuls made the last stage of the competition, which initially attracted around 2,500 entries.

They were Love Me & My Secret, Toddler Fun Learning, Wicker Wings, and ArtTutor.

Now, the last 150 have been whittled down to just 10 semi-finalists, and the brother and sister team of James and Belinda Yu who are behind the Wicker Wings venture is still in the mix – the only contender from the North West.

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A public vote, which closes on June 16, will decide who makes it to the final. There is also a chance to qualify as the people’s choice in a separate vote which runs until June 22.

Wicker Wings was inspired by James and Belinda’s grandmother who made wicker baskets for a living in the family’s native China, before they moved to England 32 years ago.

The siblings said they were inspired to set up a business making fashionable wicker handbags.

Their not-for-profit business donates part of their profit to children’s charities, including paying for books for pupils in schools across Asia.

Former Lord Mayor, and Liverpool’s Business Lead and mentor to James and Belinda, Cllr Gary Millar, said “I’ve been advising this fantastic local business at my Business Clinic Drop-in Sessions at Central Library’s Business and IP Centre.

“They deserve to win based on a great handcrafted product, their passion and their support for vulnerable children. Please support Wicker Wings and get voting.”

Visit www.pitchtorich.co.uk/wicker-wings to vote.