Enter The Dragon

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Young Chamber was asked to help find four business people to take part in a ‘dragons den’ style event at Thomas Hardye School in March 2019.

  Four volunteers with very different business backgrounds and skills sets put themselves forward to listen to presentations from 6 BTEC Business Studies students about their individual company ideas and to provide feedback / offer advice.  Thanks goes to Alvin Gunputh at LV=, Richard Tite at Greendale Construction, Anthony Ford – The Insolvency Guy and Sarah Mclellan of The Print Agency. The students wrote:

“We felt nervous at the start but after a few minutes, we felt comfortable with the presentations and were able to express ourselves to give the best impressions to the investors as possible.

“The investors were very considerate and supportive of all of our business ideas and have said that they are more than happy to mentor us in the future and get in contact with us via LinkedIn. We are very grateful to have had this opportunity and we are appreciative to the investors for volunteering to help make this happen.

“This opportunity enabled us to gain valuable feedback on our Business Plans and pitching to the investors helped us to explore opportunities which we had not thought of before. The investors have inspired us to put ourselves forward for more opportunities and not to think of our business product as the final product but to take on board the advice and adapt our ideas.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the investors involved.  Their feedback was not only valuable, it helped us to transform our business mind-sets. The experience also helped us terms of networking – we now know there are people who want to do business with us.  We were really nervous about doing our business pitches, however the investors were really kind and gave us constructive criticism instead of putting us on the spot.

“We feel as though we can move forward in our future careers and are not afraid of presenting in front of an unfamiliar audience in a professional manner. We are now more confident in ourselves and the choices that we are making which will allow us to improve our overall performance.”

Sarah McClellan, ‘investor’ said: “It was a real privilege to be part of the ‘dragon’s den’ panel. The students were a credit to the school and themselves.  I drove away feeling inspired by all their business ideas, their confident and professional presentation skills and their determination to succeed.  These students will go far!”

Alvin Gunputh said: “It was a privilege to be part of the Thomas Hardye School Dragon’s Den yesterday. Hearing some great business ideas from personable and confident students was very inspiring. Pleased to have been involved and provided support to the students. Thanks to Young Chamber Dorset and my fellow dragons.”

Anthony Ford, added: “There were some really inspiring pitches and some great business ideas!  I feel several of those pitches will become new start-up businesses – and yes, I’d invest…  Well done to all involved and here’s to a return next year – apparently 21 students instead of the 6 we assessed today – here’s to the next generation of prosperous entrepreneurs!”

Richard Tite agreed, saying: “Thank you to Young Chamber Dorset for inviting me to be a ‘Dragon’ at The Thomas Hardye School. It was a nice feeling to be able to give something back and give advice to the talented pupils who bravely presented their brilliant business ideas so confidently. There are no doubts in my mind that they will all go on to fully succeed in their chosen careers!”

If you would like to volunteer to give a talk, offer a workshop or be part of a panel in schools, please contact Joan.Senior@dcci.co.uk