A Dragons Den at Perkins….

Students from across North Cambridgeshire recently came together to present their business ideas at a “Dragons Den” held at the Learning Centre at Perkins.

The Dragons Den is the first part of the Company Programme of Young Enterprise and is loosely based around the popular BBC programme “Dragons Den”.

At the start of the academic year, the students establish a company, research the market and develop a product or service to fulfil a need.

In order to gain funding, they pitch those ideas to a group of local business people “the Dragons” who then choose which Young Enterprise companies to invest in or not if they are “OUT”.

This year’s entries included teams from seven schools and the ideas ranged from selling recycled records to creating and selling books on Amazon.

The Dragons were Rob Baldacci (BusinessComs), Jan Richardson(Total Promotions), Matt Henson and Callum Langan (Sopp & Sopp), Mark Swindale, (Shield Technologies), Colin Swanborough (Perkins) and David Newman (Peterborough Workspace).

After the event Mark Swindale said. “I absolutely loved tonight.  Young people get a lot of bad press and it is great to see them showing initiative and learning about the world of business. If anybody came to me for a job interview and had taken part in Young Enterprise they would have a head start in the interview process in my eyes”

The Dragons Den is just one part of the year-long Company Program. The next stage is to attend trade shows organised around the county in order for the teams to promote and sell their products and services.

The last event of the year is the final which generally takes place in May. At this event the teams present a review of the year and their company financial statements to a panel of judges who pick a winning team. That team then go forward to regional finals and have a chance to make it to the national finals.

Simon Chaplin, Chairman of the Peterborough Young Enterprise Board, said “I’ve only been involved with Young Enterprise for about a year, but in that time, I’ve been amazed at the level of initiative, ambition and desire of the teams to produce a product or service which they can sell. I take a great deal of enjoyment from helping them achieve that.”

If you would like to join Simon and the rest of the board and help re-establish Young Enterprise in Peterborough all you need to do is call him on 01733 372682 or e-mail and he’ll tell you how you can get involved.