College pupils pitch their new ideas to a panel of ‘dragons’
YOUNG entrepreneurs took part in a Dragons’ Den inspired challenge to help hone their business skills.
The aspiring Alan Sugars from Macclesfield College are all in their second year of a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma course in Business Studies and have been studying ‘Starting a Small Business’ and ‘Market Research’ modules.
And to help put their training into practice the students were tasked with presenting business ideas to a panel of ‘dragons’.
Ideas that the six student teams came up with included a frozen yoghurt mobile van, a smoothies bar, a Mediterranean shisha bar, a diner, an aqua bar and a sports bar.
Each group had 20 minutes to sell their business idea to the panel and were judged on the amount of research they had done, the businesses’ financial viability and their style of presentation.
The Dragons comprised of Sue Gill, the college’s vice principal, Robin Tait, business adviser at Natwest, Ian Shenton, a manager at Barclays Bank and Lee Vickers, a personal advisor at Barclays Bank.
Ian Shenton spoke to the pupils at the beginning of their studies and was interested to see how their ideas had developed into professional presentations.
After the event he said: “I would like to say a huge thank you and really well done to the students for their effort. It was so good to see how much it meant to them and the work they had put in.
“This activity was a true credit to them and we have been delighted to be involved and I look forward to helping more in the future.”
Like the hit television show Sue Gill got into her role and grilled the teams about their cash flows and profit and loss statements.
She said: “It was a hard decision to judge a winner but after much debate ‘Dolly’s Diner’ was declared the winning team having done extensive financial and market research into their business proposition.
“The employers stated that they were very impressed with the quality of all the presentations which were a lot better than they had actually seen on the TV programme, but the one for ‘Dolly’s Diner’ was particularly impressive.”
“Carole Uske and Charlotte Thompson, teachers on the business programme, said how they were really proud of the outstanding presentation and communication skills which had been developed by all students since joining the programme in September 2013.
“The experience and understanding of starting a business they have gained from taking part in this scheme will be invaluable in their future careers.”