Dragons’ Den star leads applause at Tenner Tycoon awards

Seven-year old wows audience with teddy rescue scheme

A recipe book, a networking train and a rescue service for unwanted teddies were among the ideas recognised at this year’s Tenner Tycoon awards ceremony, spearheaded by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones.

The awards, which featured keynote speeches from Jones as well as business minister Mark Prisk, honoured the 10 most innovative and lucrative entries in this year’s Tenner Tycoon competition, which attracted more than 28,000 participants.

The competition invited primary and secondary school students to borrow £10 from the ‘Tenner Bank,’ funded in large part by Jones, and use the money to create a profitable business with a wider social impact.

This year’s entrants made more than £25,000 in profit between them, and supported a range of charities including Cancer Research and RSPCA. The 57 entrants shortlisted for the awards ceremony made an average profit of £87.

Impressive

Jones and his fellow judges were particularly impressed by ‘Team Robinson’, a group of students from Yorkshire who sold more than a thousand copies of a recipe book of cakes and desserts, dedicated to a fellow student who died from cancer last summer.

Jones told Startups: “Three individuals went together as a team, created a book, and made £6,000. I just found that unbelievable, and inspirational.”

The Dragon was equally enthused by Derby pupil Scott Chapman, who made more than £750 from his ‘Inspiration Station’ – a train journey which offers a networking forum for young people.

According to Jones, “Scott’s a class act – I think he’s the next Branson!

“To come up with a concept where you bring people together for networking is really creative. He’s destined for huge success.”

Yet the loudest applause was reserved for seven-year-old Georgie Chesworth, who raised almost £350 for the RSPA by collecting unwanted teddies from friends and family, creating a personalised tag for them and then selling them on.

Jones said, “I love the stories when you see a seven-year old, like Georgie, who said ‘I’ll get some old teddies, and put a message around the neck and start selling them’. She managed to sell one to me for £10! If that’s not inspirational, then I don’t know what is.”

 

Peter Jones and Michael Hayward, founder of Seven Hills, spoke exclusively to Startups at the Tenner Tycoon awards ceremony. Watch the video below.

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