Three young enterprises have been chosen to receive expert mentoring and three months' free advertising in the Echo.
The firms were selected after entering the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) scheme – a national initiative supported by the paper.
The trio are Trinity Day Nursery in Gainsborough, A Little Luxury in Sleaford and Let There Be Light Productions from Scunthorpe.
Later in the year, an overall winner will be put forward to a regional awards ceremony with the chance to go to the national final in October.
Julia Merivale, the owner of Trinity Day Nursery, said: "When I spotted the scheme I thought it was a really, really good idea.
"It's the first time I've run a business before so having someone to give advice and say, 'Have you thought of this?' would be really useful, especially with marketing. I've had a couple of articles in the Echo and it's made a difference, so the advertising should be a big help."
A Little Luxury is run by mum and daughter team Barbara and Laura Daughtrey, who make homemade preserves like jams and chutneys.
Barbara Daughtrey started the firm after being seriously injured in a car accident in 2010 leaving her unable to continue her careers in teaching and soft sculpture design.
The pair have now grown an award-winning business which sells around 500 jars a month.
Barbara said: "So far it's been like a hobby business but we want to take that next step.
"And that's about making a proper business plan and looking at the way forward – increasing production and looking at marketing."
Let There Be Light Productions, run by managing director Hugh Adamson, produces commercial videos.
Mr Adamson said: "It's going to be great to get advice from someone who is not in the film industry.
"They'll be able to think outside the box and won't have any preconceptions.
"We're hoping to take on more national clients and expand across the country."
The mentoring team includes Herman Kok, finance director at Lindum Group, Professor David Rae of the University of Lincoln, Simon Beardsley from Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Sandra Dexter, of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Lincolnshire Media Business Awards launched, p17