06 May High Wycombe face the Dragon’s Den
Yesterday saw the Dragon’s Den day for our Strive programme in High Wycombe, which ran with the help of our partners Red Kite Housing and Housing Solutions. After 12 weeks of business training and support, our start-ups were ready to present to a panel, which consisted of Red Kite Community Housing Chairman Jennie Ferrigno, Director of Business Banking for Natwest in The Chilterns, Paul Brill, Manor Estates’ Andy Jones and Ex-Chair of Housing Solutions Roger Mabey. Our participants wrote business plans, cash flows and presentations, demonstrating to the judges their passion for enterprise.
The panel was full of praise for our group, with Paul Brill saying it was ‘a day [I] will not forget for many years to come’, adding that it was a ‘privilege’ to be involved with such motivated individuals. Paul also offered to mentor Striver Naomi Young and her gift-wrapping business Giftiwrap, which she plans to get up and running in September. Roger Mabey agreed with Paul that the day was very special, adding that he thought the calibre of presentation was ‘extremely high’, and some of the best presentations he has seen yet.
Andy James of Manor Estates had a keen interest in the ‘green and eco’ businesses, including Julie Hopton’s wildlife and environment education, Nature’s Jewels, Martin Ottewill’s gardening service for the elderly and Sian Robinson’s Wycombe Community Farm, with the latter securing a life-changing £600 start-up grant from the Dragons.
The judges were also particularly impressed with Jemma Worley’s ‘Jemma’s Mobile Hairdressing’, whose customer testimonials proved what a talented hairdresser she is, and with Annabel Cox’s ‘Bella Bobbins‘ sewing start-up, offering further grants to help them progress with their businesses.
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this course, and have been blown away by the sheer enthusiasm and motivation of all our participants. With businesses ranging from Hypnobirthing and Holistic Centres, to Pool Bars and Woodland Walks, everyone has shown something original and we’re certain that they will succeed, taking on board the feedback from the panel and the knowledge they’ve gained through the programme.
We wish all our Strive program participants success with their new business ventures over the next few months, and are looking forward to continuing to work with our second group of entrepreneurs in the Wycombe community in the coming weeks. If you would like to speak to one of our trainers or find out more information about any of our programs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Former Striver Dorota Kunicka, click here for more information