DRAGONS’ FEN: Business start-up cash to be won from Fenland’s investors

BUDDING entrepreneurs could be given the cash to start their own business when they step into Fenland’s Dragons’ Den.

It won’t be Duncan Bannatyne or Theo Paphitis that they are trying to impress - but there will be a package of funding and business support worth �5,000 up for grabs.

The scheme, modelled on the BBC Two show, has been launched by enterprise experts NWES, with support from Roddons Housing Association and Fenland District Council.

Business ideas can now be submitted, and 10 applicants will be selected to pitch in front of the investment Dragons at Young People March in June.

Paul Gardner, team leader at NWES, said: “This could be a life-changing opportunity as the cash and support really could help make dreams come true for someone who wants to set up their own business.

“What is unique about this event is that anyone applying will also have the chance to attend free workshops in either April or May to help them prepare their business plan and improve their chance of success.

“Plus there will be the opportunity to meet with a business advisor for anyone who needs more help putting together their ideas.”

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There is �2,500 cash to be won as well as �2,500 of professional business support from accountants Whiting and Partners, solicitors Fraser Dawbarns and NWES.

Mr Gardner said: “The Dragons will simply be looking for viable business ideas from well-motivated and enthusiastic people.

“With the support available, this isn’t about academic achievement or background so anyone can apply.

“This area has some great entrepreneurs so we are really hoping this first ever NWES Dragons’ Den in Fenland will help start more great businesses.”

Roddons has provided funding for a two-year project to help people start their own businesses.

• Dragons’ Den applicants must live in the Fenland District Council area and be aged over 18. Application packs are available from the NWES website www.nwes.org.uk/dragons-den or by calling 0845 60 99 99 1. The closing date for entries is May 31.

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