Dragons Den

(Business) Angels of the North

Dragons’ Den without the humiliation When most people think of angel investing they picture a scene from Dragons’ Den, the BBC television business programme. The programme presents the investors as intimidating figures, reclining in comfortable chairs beside their piles of cash. They preside over pitches from nervous entrepreneurs presenting businesses of varying quality. A deal is struck in minutes, or not at all, and more often than not the entrepreneur leaves the den with nothing but dashed hopes and wounded pride. Whilst this might make for good television, in the real world, angel investing is conducted rather differently. Steve McEwen is the North of England regional director for Beer & Partners, the UK’s leading business angel network. Beer currently has 1,700 registered busines... »

Only a Fifth of Schools Support Would-be Entrepreneurs

More than half of school children aged 14 to 19 want to be their own boss, but only one fifth are encouraged to do so by their school, research has revealed. Out of 1,000 teenagers polled in the Enterprise UK report Make Money, Make a Difference: Backing Britain’s Future, (PDF) 51% said they would like to run their own business. However, only 20% said that their school encourages entrepreneurship. Coinciding with the publication of the report, Dragons’ Den investor Peter Jones has launched Tenner Tycoon, a competition offering £400,000 in £10 notes to young people and giving them a month to make as much profit as they can. Jones said he was concerned that schools were not nurturing business skills: “If we are serious about a culture of enterprise in this country, then we need to nurt... »

Business TV has Little Relevance for Small Business

Most business television programmes hold little relevance for small firms ― that is the message from business groups as new series of Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice are set to be screened.  An eighth series of BBC2’s Dragons’ Den, in which entrepreneurs pitch for funding, is due in the coming months, while the new Junior Apprentice, in which ten potential Lord Alan Sugar protégés aged 16-17 compete for a £25,000 career development fund, starts on BBC1 on Wednesday May 12. The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies’ chief executive, George Derbyshire, said that people turn on The Apprentice for the fireworks rather than the business lessons. “The ultra-competitive approach you see on The Apprentice is not always a good trick ... »

Former Dragon Offers Discounts to Attend Start-Up School

Former Dragon Offers Discounts to Attend Start-Up School

Social and ethical entrepreneurs are being offered a 60 per cent discount on business training at the School for Start-ups, founded by ex-Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Doug Richard.  Established last year, the School runs courses aimed at growing businesses around the UK. Locations include Edinburgh, London, Southend and Colchester, and each event is hosted by Doug Richard. Social and ethical entrepreneurs are categorised as those pursuing projects that offer long-term solutions to social problems. “By supporting social entrepreneurs and social enterprises working to create sustainable solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems, School for Start-ups hopes to play some role in their success,” said Richard. The School’s next course is Fast Growth Marketi... »

Dragon James Caan calls for ethnic minorities to step up

Dragon calls for ethnic minorities to step up

> Dragon calls for missing ethnic minority business leaders to step up and make their ideas happen Entrepreneur and star of BBC’s Dragon’s Den, James Caan, today called for more entrepreneurs to make their ideas happen and create an extra 100,000 ethnic minority run businesses in the UK. James Caan made the call as he set out his vision at his first meeting as the new co-Chair of the Department for Business’s Ethnic Minority Task Force. Speaking at the meeting, James Caan said: "It is more important than ever that we create an environment where anyone with ambition, passion and a good idea – no matter what their background – can succeed. "Research has found that there are a great number of talented individuals who never move from ‘thinker to do... »

Family Business

Family firms compete for £5k cash prize

The UK’s most enterprising family businesses are being called on to enter Barclays Local Business Family Affair Awards before 31 March, for the chance to win a £5,500 cash prize. A panel of judges — including the former winner of BBC Dragons’ Den, Levi Roots, creator of Reggae Reggae sauce — will search for the UK’s most dynamic family business. Applicants will be asked to explain how they have overcome challenges running their business, and why they think their family is successful at enterprise. Nine regional winners will receive a cash prize of £1,500 each. The judges will select one of these as the overall national winner who will receive £5,500 cash. “Nobody knows better than I do the importance of family when it comes to every asp... »

Dragons Dens Peter Jones

Small firms compete for Peter Jones mentoring session

Small firms keen to develop their business expertise are being given the chance to win a mentoring session with Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones. As part of a mentoring scheme organised by BT Business, one business will win two half–day sessions with Peter Jones and an additional five businesses will win mentoring sessions with senior executives from BT Business. BT Business mentors will work alongside Professor David Clutterbuck, recognised as a leading mentoring expert. “Small businesses are often too busy to ask for help, but research published in Small Business Week revealed that mentoring is something they feel they would benefit from,” said Bill Murphy, managing director, BT Business. Peter Jones added: “It’s a crucial time for business and I&... »

Dragon’s Den — Theo Paphitis

Firms apply for Green Loans

Dragons’ Den investor Theo Paphitis has urged small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint with the help of an interest–free ‘green’ loan from the Carbon Trust. A £31 million funding pot is available under the Carbon Trust’s Energy Efficiency Loan scheme. Eligible firms can borrow between £5,000 and £200,000 for new or replacement equipment that is more energy–efficient. Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 250 employees, 12 months’ trading history and a good credit rating. The size of the loan available will depend on the energy–related cost savings from the investment. Loans do not require security and must be paid back over four years. Theo, who is appearing in the Carbon Trust’s nationwide advertising ca... »

James Caan

Fast Growth Business Awards

Pioneering and creative businesses are being invited to enter the Fast Growth Business Awards, which recognise and reward companies that demonstrate significant growth and entrepreneurial flair. To enter, companies must be UK–based, have been trading for at least two years, and employ fewer than 500 employees. The cost of entry is £35 plus VAT. There are fourteen award categories businesses can apply for, including ‘best green business’, ‘innovative business of the year’ and ‘online business of the year’. One outstanding entry will be crowned ‘overall winner’ by a panel of judges that includes entrepreneur James Caan, from the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. Winners will benefit from wide–ranging media coverage and the use o... »

Peter Jones

Scarborough voted UK’s Enterprise Capital

Scarborough has been announced as the winner of the Government’s Enterprising Britain competition. Run by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the competition recognises areas of ‘enterprise excellence’ across the UK, where jobs and a better climate for business and the local community have been created. The award was presented to Scarborough Renaissance Partnership at a ceremony in Downing Street for its Waking Sleeping Beauty project. The initiative has transformed Scarborough from a town where unemployment was twice the North Yorkshire average, many of its neighbourhoods were among the most deprived in the country and seasonal unemployment was around 20% during the winter. With support from the local council and Regional Development Age... »

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