Former Metheringham entrepreneur encourages others to enter annual business competition after winning in 2016

Competition winners Sophie Bulgin and Aaron Walker with a Mantle shipping container. EMN-170228-093633001
Competition winners Sophie Bulgin and Aaron Walker with a Mantle shipping container. EMN-170228-093633001

A Sleaford area entrepreneur is urging others to enter a business competition which she and her partner won last year and enjoyed a ‘huge boost’ as a result.

Sophie Bulgin and partner Aaron Walker won the Lincolshire Show’s annual Grow with the Show competition in 2016 with their business Mantle.

The couple’s company, which started out in Metheringham, modifies shipping containers into customised, unique, and versatile spaces. After relocating premises to Lincoln over the last year, Sophie is encouraging entrepreneurs to enter this year’s competition.

“Grow with the Show made a huge difference to us,” she said. “It saw us generate key business leads at the Lincolnshire Show which then led to developing lasting business relationships.

“It was a huge boost for us and ensured a strong start to the business. Having support to meet our key client base at no cost at an event the size of the show was fantastic.”

The competition, is now open to entries, and aims to help new Lincolnshire businesses by giving them the platform and tools needed to excel in the crucial early stages of setting up and establishing their businesses.

Each year, the winning business receives the opportunity to showcase their business in front of 60,000 people at the show in June.

They will also win a £250 cash prize, business mentoring from the Sparkhouse team at the University of Lincoln, a detailed website review worth £300 from Root Studio, and an invitation to the Lincolnshire Media Business Awards.

Sophie added: “The prize on offer was a massive draw for us. Winning meant we became well established with little cost. We went on to work with clients ranging from domestic garden offices, to event management companies, and local authorities.”

Jayne Southall, chief execuitve officer of Lincolnshire Showground, said: “It’s great to see how much it has helped Mantle and now we’re really looking forward to inviting local businesses and supporting new start-ups.

“It’s rewarding to have an impact in their business development and watch them grow.”

The competition, hosted by the Lincolnshire Showground, is open to any person aged 18 to 35, based in Lincolnshire, and who has started their own business within the past three years. The Lincolnshire Show returns for the 133rd year on June 21 and 22. The closing date for Grow with the Show entries is March 10.

To find out more and apply for Grow with the Show, visit