Students face ‘dragons’ to pitch proposals

Judges Angela Russell and Andrew Jones MP size up the proposals from Harrogate College business students. (S)

Judges Angela Russell and Andrew Jones MP size up the proposals from Harrogate College business students. (S)

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Business students at Harrogate College have pitched their proposals to a panel of local judges at a Dragons’ Den-style event.

The pupils, who are studying the business and management foundation degree, pitched their business start-up concepts to a diverse group of experts.

The “dragons”, who included Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, Angela Russell – the MD of It’s Nut Free and a former Harrogate College student – the managing director of Chillipeepers, Claire Mitchell, and Harrogate College’s director of operations, Julie Stephenson, scrutinised each student’s business proposal in turn.

Students worked together to develop their entrepreneurial skills using marketing and finance skills from the course to apply to their business idea.

They had to thoroughly research their business concept looking at competitor analysis, Unique Selling Propositions, predicated first year costs and growth strategy for the first five years.

The dragons were impressed with the professionalism of the students, investing in two out of the three businesses.

Mr Jones said: “The presentations were excellent, with the students putting a lot of work into the research and development of their business pitches to present a comprehensive case for investment.

“Well done to all the students – as dragons we are investing in their businesses as local entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”

Charlotte Hicks, a business foundation degree student, said: “The pitch was really nerve racking, but we soon started to enjoy it. We are all very passionate about our business idea and hope to develop it over the next year.”

Angela Russell said: “The students were very professional and put a lot of work into the pitch. The students were very receptive to our ideas as a local entrepreneur I love to be able to offer the students support and advice.”

l For more information about Harrogate College, go to www.harrogate.ac.uk