“100 ideas for starting a new business”


New Member
A recent competition in the UK, to win £100,000 (to start your own business rather than to fund a holiday in the sun?) has just been held. Some of the winning ideas are provided below, to be whittled down to 10 and then one. If you were on the panel of judges, which one works for you? Which one does not? :D

(If the item is too long for anyone to read, print it off and read it over a coffee or nice glass of wine :wink: )

Alex Parks in Exmouth would like to start up “Stop, Drop and Shop” centres in towns or large shopping centres so parents can leave their children while they shop.

Tom Cone from east Yorkshire wants to produce video manuals for flat-pack furniture to help people assemble them quickly and easily.

Jill Hodgkinson from Northampton would like to develop an electronic chip to attach to a pair of glasses so that when she misplaces them she can whistle and the glasses will whistle back.

David Swede from Conwy in Wales would like to install digital cameras outside people’s homes. They would take photos of all visitors to deter burglars.

Helen James from Dorset would like to get publishers to print book extracts on the back of cereal packets to encourage literacy.

David Bolton from London has had the idea of setting up a website to help drivers find parking spaces.

Julie Mills wants to develop an umbrella that will fit on the top of a garden rotary dryer and stop washed clothes getting wet again.

Atlanta Williams would like to set up an online employment agency for over-55s who have specialist or business skills and could offer short-term help to employers.

Robin Peters proposes to create Snooze Tubes, Japanese-style capsule hotels, in airports so travellers can rest during stopovers.

Kevin Morahan of Ballinagar in Ireland would like to develop a straw that will change colour if a drink has been spiked.
Heidi Saunders from Warrington would like to set up an internet business called Lunchboxtoyou, which would deliver nutritious packed lunches to children at school.

Dominic Hill from East Molesey in Surrey has come up with the idea of a pre-paid, reloadable online card for the under-16s, called Pocket Money, which could be used only at pre-authorised online retailers.

Laura Starling from Chard in Somerset wants to set up a network to harness the skills of the over-fifties.

Gerard Tomnay from Tottenham wants to set up a 24-hour helpline manned by taxi drivers that will provide directions to people who are lost in London or stuck in traffic.

Jonathan Le Roith wants to start up The Stock Shop, a store on the high street where people could buy and sell shares.

Kim Pearson from Newcastle upon Tyne wants to create Funky Junk vending machines containing healthier snacks for children.

Peter Nugent from Barnet, north London, wants to make giving to good causes easier by adapting supermarket tills so people can add a few pence to their bill to go to charity.

Victoria Rushton from Wantage, Oxfordshire, would like to create a fitness machine that goes under a desk so that people could exercise while they were at work.

Petros Fanis from London has had the idea of setting up a mobile phone-based service that instantly alerts car owners by text that their car alarm has been triggered. Richard Manning from Cheltenham wants to start a scheduled airship service.

Steve McCulloch would like to run careers-advice sessions for children to show them the wide range of options open to them.

Tim Cuffling from Bourne in Lincolnshire would like to set up an indoor adventure activity area for adults. Sheila Nelson wants to develop an affordable, aesthetically pleasing, warm composter.

Louise Montague-Fuller from Bewdley in Worcestershire has come up with the idea of Party in a Box, containing everything parents need to throw a children’s party.

Richard Parker from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, would like to set up an arts café where customers could watch artists at work.

Robert White from Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, wants to develop a board game to teach children the importance of personal finance.

Saharri Phillips from Reigate wants to create a website called Scratchmyback.com where people could swap their talents or skills.
John Curran of Brantham, Suffolk, would like to produce a water-disinfection device for use in countries that don’t have safe water supplies.

Merryn Myatt from Huxley in Cheshire has had an idea for a website called Reallyreallysorry.com where people could apologise to those they have wronged and buy a gift to show they meant it.

Alan O’Brien from Chiswick, west London, has a memorable freephone number, 0800 123123, and would like to use it to create a national cab company.

Leslie Potter from Liverpool would like to start up a play centre for disabled children.

Edward Barker from Oxford wants to start up a “learning train” in an extra carriage on commuter trains so passengers could take courses and attend lectures while they travel.

David Owen from Bedford would like to set up a fractional car ownership scheme for city dwellers.

Paula Denham from Manchester has an idea to create alternative-style funerals.

And the ideas that didn't bear fruit...

Set up a business to dry apricots. They are nutritious but taste sour in their fresh state so the prize money would be used to obtain cheap supplies of apricots, buy several drying machines and hire a workforce.

Buy and convert a van that would be parked outside pubs at closing time to sell pieces of buttered toast to hungry passers-by.

Start up a service called Email Snail, which would enable people to send messages from their computer through the post.

Make and sell Poo Sticks — matches soaked in incense that when lit would get rid of unpleasant bathroom odours.


New Member
just the other day, my dance instructor and i were joking about how there's no earthquake insurance offered in our area (we're in an earthquake-prone area, i guess :? ). And he said he should really start off a business that offers insurance for major disasters (like nuclear wars, alien invasions...etc). Afterall, if we were actually hit by such catastrophes, i doubt collecting insurance would be on anyone's top priority list!
Waaay too costly, not very practical ideas. ("Poo sticks?" How much time do you spend in the friggin' loo, people? Get outta there when business is over!)

We have a program over here in Japan where a panel of millionaires listens to people's ideas and then gives them money to fund the ideas if they seem worthy. As for the above, I would choose one of the ideas that failed- but is very successfull over here at the moment. (Buy and convert a van that would be parked outside pubs at closing time...) These catering vans are raking in the bucks. Very trendy. Not simple food like toast, but hot noodles, Mexican grub, pizzas, hot coffee drinks, etc. Even saw these vans my last trip to Korea!

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