Dragon' Den stars support North East Global Entrepreneurship Week

North East businesses are set to benefit from free expert advice from the stars of the popular BBC2 series, Dragons' Den

Kelly Hoppen
Kelly Hoppen

North East businesses are set to benefit from free expert advice from the stars of the popular BBC2 series, Dragons’ Den.

The Business & IP Centre Newcastle is bringing together a panel of formidable Dragons past and present to provide essential tips and advice to local inventors and entrepreneurs to help celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs: In the Den with Dragons will give small businesses the chance to learn from the no-nonsense experts about developing the perfect pitch and taking their business to the next level.

The special event, taking place at Newcastle City Library tomorrow in partnership with Barclays, will feature Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney from the current series and Doug Richard from the very first series.

As an independent 16-year-old, Hoppen was given the opportunity to design a family friend’s kitchen, a modest commission that kick-started one of the most celebrated careers in the design industry.

Devoted to making her design ethos accessible to the masses, she shares her extensive knowledge in the popular Kelly Hoppen Design School. She has also fronted the Channel 5 design series, Superior Interior.

Richard is the founder and chairman of Library House and is an experienced entrepreneur and investor, while Linney is known for leaving his job in the City to become involved with a wide range of businesses across technology, media and telecommunications.

All three Dragons will be live via webcast from the British Library in London, talking about how they have risen from start-ups to stars in the business world.

Local entrepreneur Donna Kerr-Foley, who struck a £50,000 deal with Hoppen and Deborah Meaden for a 40% share in her business, will help open the session.

The 36-year-old from Hebburn said: “Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 offers a fantastic array of digital and face-to-face support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and I’m really proud to be part of it.

“The advice I received from the Dragons has really helped grow the business, and it’s great that other people from the North East will also be able benefit from my experience and their support.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship.

Each year, it plays a critical role in encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to start their own business.

Locally, the Business & IP Centre Newcastle is taking the lead in backing the week by hosting several free events designed to give businesses access to the right resources and contacts needed for success.

Other events include an information fair on November 20, where business support organisations and services in the city will be on hand to explain how they can help enterprises start-up or grow, as well as Business Essentials Speed Mentoring on November 21, aimed at giving businesses all the advice they need in one place.

Other sessions include Intellectual Property Surgeries, social media workshops and advice on writing a business plan to raise finance.

For more details or to book places on any of the events, including Inspiring Entrepreneurs: In the Den with Dragons, visit www.bipcnewcastle.co.uk

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Business Editor
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