17:07 Sunday 15 December 2013

Dragon's Den for budding entrepreneurs

Written byROB SMYTH

TOP teams from East Staffordshire’s Young Enterprise competition faced their very own Dragon’s Den as they worked hard to showcase their skills.

The scheme allows youngsters in Years 10, 12 and 13 to gain experience in setting up and running their own ‘organisations’.

The new event to the calendar was the brainchild of Andy Luffman, chairman of East Staffordshire’s Young Enterprise, and was designed to assist the teams in the development of their products

He said: “The intensity of competition between the teams at area, county and regional levels, leave alone the national finals, is increasing year-on-year.

“East Staffordshire teams from across the area, including De Ferrers Academy and Paulet Sixth Form College, have registered significant successes.

“We want to build on those achievements, to encourage all the teams and to ensure that they gain the maximum from taking part in Young Enterprise that remains an invaluable addition to every participating student’s CV.”

Unlike the television version of Dragon’s Den, with its daunting and overbearing atmosphere, this counterpart contained a careful balance of presentation and questioning to bring out the best for all those taking part.

The six entrepreneurial judges included Jonathan Nason from Quay Directions.

The team from Paget were the first to face the panel with their innovative range of products developed from recycled pallets.

The Aura team from Paulet then showed off their unique ‘mood light’.

Mr Luffman added: “For many of the teams running their own business is a special challenge with hidden pitfalls.

“We introduced this Dragon’s Den event to help encourage and inspire all the teams some of whom were unable, due to their tight timetables, to join us in Burton.”

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