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Budding Gordonstoun entrepreneurs enter local ‘Dragons' Den’

By Ena Saracevic

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GORDONSTOUN pupils pitched their product ideas to a "Dragons' Den" style panel of local businesspeople this month.

Two teams of the area's newest entrepreneurs got their first taste of applying for finance by taking part in Young Enterprise Scotland's (YES) version of the hit TV show.

Team Molive Studio received £50 to help kick-start their plans for a range of laptop cases, tote bags and jewellery, while Woolest were awarded £55 for their hair ties and key chains made from products from local wool manufacturers.

All the teams taking part received valuable advice on how to progress their plans in time to set up a socially-distanced stall at the annual YES Christmas trade fair in the Eastgate, Inverness, on Saturday, December 11.

The YES Company Programme for Highland and Moray runs in partnership with local schools and businesses to encourage young people to experience the challenges of running a business.

Team Molive Marie Haab (left) and Olivia Han.
Team Molive Marie Haab (left) and Olivia Han.
Team Woolest Nadya Berie (left) and Kimiko Young.
Team Woolest Nadya Berie (left) and Kimiko Young.

Over the course of a year, teams from individual schools learn how to run a successful business by designing and making products, marketing them and managing the financial side of the business. The scheme is aimed at 15 to 19-year-olds and teams are supported by teachers, a volunteer business adviser from the local community and an Area Team.

Linda Thomas, chair of YES Highland and Moray, said: "Dragons' Den is always a challenge for our teams as they refine the concepts for their products and sell them to the panel."

She said it was great to be back in person this year and the teams performed brilliantly. She added: "The Dragons were hugely impressed with entrepreneurs' energy, enthusiasm, and creativity – all delivered whilst wearing face masks.

"Over the pandemic it's become clear that taking part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme is not just about learning how to run a business."

Linda continued: "Our teams of young people put into practice working together, thinking creatively and managing change and challenging circumstances, all of which is great preparation for their careers and will stand them in good stead, particularly in these difficult times."

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