Students enter dragon’s den

Local entrepreneur Joseph Pegler and work learning co-ordinator Joanne Baker discuss their scheme with Palatine School pupils Sally-Ann Kenny and Lucy Horrocks
Local entrepreneur Joseph Pegler and work learning co-ordinator Joanne Baker discuss their scheme with Palatine School pupils Sally-Ann Kenny and Lucy Horrocks
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Budding entrepreneurs have been given the chance to show they have what it takes to be the next Duncan Bannatyne or James Caan.

The youngsters, from schools across Blackpool, had to pitch their business ideas in a Dragon’s Den-style competition yesterday.

Successful schools were given £100 to fund their business idea, with some of the money raised going to local causes.

Mike Taplin, senior manager for children’s services at Blackpool Council, said the idea is for the businesses to be sustainable.

He said: “The students have to decide how much of the money made will go to the community and how much will go back into the club to keep it going.”

To help them get their pitches right, the youngsters were given advice by experienced businessmen.

Among them was Blackpool entrepreneur Joseph Pegler, who founded an international arts company.

The 22-year-old, from Norbreck, set up The Lucky Jotter last year and is gearing up to host his fifth exhibition in Nottingham next month.

He said: “The message I wanted the pupils to take away was to work hard and use the support around you.

“It gives them proof that it can happen if you work hard.”

And he said he saw plenty of potential in the youngsters he was coaching.

“I was working with some really enthusiastic people,” he added.

“They had some good ideas and I just gave them my input.”

The enterprise club, run by Blackpool Council, has the support of a number of schools across the resort.

Five schools turned up to the City Learning Centre, on Bathurst Avenue, Grange Park for the competition.

They were Highfield Humanities College, St George’s School, Palatine Sports College, Park School and Highfurlong School.

Mr Taplin added: “The event was a good example of the business community coming together with young people to help them.”