Young Entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to TESCO

Business BTEC students from The Henley College participated in a Dragon’s Den style competition on 24th May.

After presenting their business ideas in front of their peers, students pitched to an impressive panel of dragons, which included James Lingard, General Manager of TESCO Slough, Neeru Badyal, Checkout Team manager, Rebecca Stafford, Media Strategy & Partnership Manager, Henley Town Councillor Donna Crook and Hannah McPhee, the Programme Leader for Business Level 2. 

Students had put in a considerable amount of hard work into finishing their presentations to a high standard. The diverse range of business ideas included: a Dog-grooming Business, a top end Trainer-cleaning business; a GCSE Tutoring service and a novel approach to hotels using Sleep-pods.

The Dragons had their work cut out for them, with judging criteria covering product design, product innovation, viability, promotional ideas and the students’ presentation skills. With each group putting the best foot forward into the journey towards entrepreneurship, it was an interesting yet difficult task of picking the winner. ‘Elite Learning’, a tuition franchise pipped ‘Crystal Clean’ a shoe-cleaning business at the post by a hair and was awarded the top prize of £500.

Adam Stangroom, the teacher of the winning group was awarded with a well-earned bottle of fizz, to enjoy at his leisure.

Organiser and Lead Tutor Swapna Jare said; “the highlight of the event was definitely the camaraderie between students, which was made highly visible when 3 students from different groups came together to support one of their peers in his presentation, when his partner was taken ill. They were given a special award in a unanimous decision by the Dragons, with each participant being given a £10 voucher for their effort.”

The TESCO colleagues said, “Each idea presented today was superb and innovative. TESCO will definitely do well looking into at least some of these ideas in detail.” Councillor Donna Crook added that students should “patent their excellent ideas and develop them further”.

Principal of The Henley College, Satwant Deol and Head of Faculty Tristan Arnison were on hand to encourage the students and support their entrepreneurial spirit.