BITC Dragons Den in Chester

1 October 2014

‘Dragon’s Den’ meets ‘Great British Bake Off’ for Upton-by-Chester enterprise students

Aspiring entrepreneurs at Upton-by-Chester High School have been cooking up a Christmas cracker of a business idea as they take part in a real-life ‘Dragon’s Den’ competition for charity.

Pupils are looking to launch a festive-themed cake company and raise valuable funds as one of 26 schools from across the region taking part in a contest run by Manchester Airport Community Network.

Now six pupils from Upton-by-Chester are ready to put their idea to a panel of five judges drawn from airlines, duty free operators and other businesses based in and around the airport itself, in a bid to secure a £100 cash investment to develop their business idea further.

The Year 10 students involved are hopeful their entry will turn out to be a recipe for business success after Wales’ largest building society, Principality, stepped in to help them refine their business plan and act as stand in ‘Dragons’ in the run up to the competition itself.

John Jones, Business Studies Tutor at Upton-by-Chester, said: “The school is really grateful to Principality Building Society for helping us to prepare for this competition, particularly as we were approached by them to give support without having to ask.

“The input of Chester Branch Manager Mike Yeomans has been invaluable in providing the students with a real-life business perspective, and his commitment to helping our pupils get the most out of their business plans has given them the encouragement and confidence they need to take part in a competition like this.”

Inspired by the recent success of TV shows like the ‘Great British Bake Off’ and a growing market for luxury baked goods in general, the students asked teachers at the school to bring in their own Christmas-themed recipes.

Pupils would then look to repay the £100 investment up for grabs and raise additional funds for charity by mass producing the best recipe for sale at school fayres, to other pupils and also at a sales day at Manchester Airport with all other schools in the competition during the festive season.

Principality’s Chester Branch Manager Mike Yeomans and Regional Sales Manager David Critcher have been mentoring the pupils involved and now plan to extend their reach to business study pupils in the wider area to help them get a flavour of the real business world too.

Mike said: “It’s been a great experience for me and David to connect with young commerce students based in the Chester area and get involved with business development at a grassroots level as part of Principality Building Society’s ongoing commitment to support the local community.

“We were both extremely impressed by the ideas and the attitude Upton-by-Chester pupils showed to us during the workshop sessions we held with them and look forward to supporting them with any further successes that come their way as a result of this competition.”

Manchester Airport Community Network’s Dragon’s Den competition raised £13,000 for good causes last year and will see 26 schools from across the region take part in a bid to raise further donations for charities including Cheshire’s Hope House Hospice and others in 2014.

Published: 01/10/2014