Nine budding entrepreneurs were awarded grants of up to £2,000 for their businesses after they were grilled by judges in Dacorum’s Den.
The panel of four sponsors, gave seven businesses £1,000 following the judging on Friday, July 7 – and were so impressed by the community focus of two others that they doubled the grant for them to £2,000 each.
Inspired by the Dragons’ Den TV show, the locally- focused competition, organised by Dacorum Borough Council, is now in its sixth year, having invested £50,000 in business growth and created 35 jobs since it was launched in 2011.
Panellists included John Ellison of JE2, Alan Butchers, the McDonald’s Restaurants franchisee in Apsley, and Alison Murray of serviced apartments and luxury flat rental specialists abodebed, and MP Mike Penning.
Mr Ellison said: “It is so difficult for businesses to access this kind of investment that I said on winning the money for new software that when it led to a profit I would invest back into Dacorum’s Den.”
The winning businesses were:
1. £2,000 to Emerald Kitty Entertainment, for marketing help and organising a show at Hemel’s Old Town Hall;
2. £2,000 to Fishery Wharf Café in Boxmoor to improve infrastructure;
3. £1,000 to The Tyre Changers in Tring;
4. £1,000 to Audition Oracle opera singers and auditions in Tring to translate their website into French;
5. £1,000 to Chipperfield-based garden designer Justine Wood, of Wild Wood Studio, for design software;
6. £1,000 to Elementary Skin & Body beauty salon in Tring to boost their marketing;
7. £1,000 to Abbelle party, prom, pageant, cruise, bridesmaid and evening wear boutique in Hemel Old Town to invest in social media and online marketing;
8. £1,000 to MRO Accounts in Apsley to developing an online training portal for small businesses;
9. £1,000 to Gilded Bee in Tring for website development.
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