Young entrepreneurs impress dragons using business brains in Market Drayton

Four pioneering businesswomen were chosen as ‘dragons’ to judge an enterprise challenge at a Market Drayton secondary school.

From left to right: Charlotte Hollins, Julia Roberts, Rebecca Greehalgh and Eva Davé
From left to right: Charlotte Hollins, Julia Roberts, Rebecca Greehalgh and Eva Davé

The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge regional heats came to the Grove School last week.

A panel representing several of the town’s independent businesses chose which team went through to the final at Wembley Stadium in the summer.

As part of the challenge day, seven groups of six children, split between two categories, each worked to come up with a real-life business presentation pitch, which they then presented to the panel.

The dragons were Eva Davé, owner of the Mincher-Lockett & Co optician firm, Charlotte Hollins, manager of the Fordhall Organic Farm, Rebecca Greenhalgh, education consultant, and Julia Roberts, director of Rocket Communications and founder of the annual Ginger and Spice Festival.

They picked the all-female Team R for their preparation and presentation skills, and the team will compete in the final on July 10 against 1,500 other children from 235 schools.

Celebrity duo Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely will appear at Wembley.

Eva said: “‘It was a pleasure being one of the dragons for the Grove School. I think the children did extremely well pitching their ideas and collaborating together as teams.

“Public speaking and presenting is something most people try to avoid as it’s nerve-wracking and scary. Yet despite obvious nerves these children got up in front of their peers and communicated their messages and ideas brilliantly. I think it was important for the students to see a group of successful female entrepreneurs and realise that we all have our own stories and that our success has come from hard work; and feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

“There were certainly some budding entrepreneurs at the Grove and I wish them luck at Wembley.”

Julia Roberts, who represents several groups and businesses around Market Drayton through her communications company, said: “It was wonderful to see the local secondary school embracing opportunities in which their students can learn and develop business skills which can equip them for their future.

“Having a real life example of how learning applies to the business world and developing the skills you need to succeed is vitally important.”

The National Enterprise Challenge is supported by Ryman, as well as entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.

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