Education Village Presentation
To the Dolphin Centre this evening, where over 200 adults and pupils mingled in Darlington's own Bright Sparks awards.
Sponsored by Bannantyne Fitness, the contest attracted entries from the Borough's 7 secondary and 2 independent schools. The task followed the BBC's very popular Dragon's Den format - come up with a business plan that would impress the judges and, in this case, scoop a £1,000 prize for the most enterprising entry and £500 for the best business plan.
I was able to ctach the first half (before having to hot-foot it to a Whinfield Residents' Association meeting). It was striking how many of the presentations picked up on innovative ways to develop environmentally-sensitive business ideas. Really encouraging too were the number of young people presenting who could easily have passed for seasoned business people, given the maturity and eloquence of their speeches.
Certainly. extra star quality was added to the evening by the presence on the judging panel of Duncan Bannantyne OBE, the arch dragon himself. It's great when a entrepreneur like Duncan is prepared to put his money where his mouth is, and help foster young talent at a local level in this way. The judges, who also included Northgate plc's Alan Noble, showed the right amount of respect to the young people by asking some pretty searching questions.
With the active support of many local businesses like Cummins, HSBC, Barclays, Sherwoods and Alpha to name but a few, this was a real partnership event. Every secondary school in the Borough had an entry.
And the result? - well it was a triumph for Haughton's own Education Village and their "Green Machine" idea for marketing garden furniture to local businesses. The best business plan was produced by Eastbourne School and their 'Adore our Eatables' initiative.
I've included film from the Haughton Village presentation and the 'dragon's' Q & A. Apologies for the film quality - alas the Flip doesn't really do "distance" video!