Young entrepreneurs cash in on ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event

Pic: Hackney Council

Pic: Hackney Council

Three young entrepreneurs have been awarded £1000 after winning a “Dragon’s Den” style event organised by Sanctuary Housing and Hackney Homes.

Jace Joseph, 24, Hannah Akinbode, 25, and Charlie Robson, 24, impressed judges with a trio of unique start-up ideas to take home a cash prize provided by Sanctuary Group’s Community Investment Fund and Hackney Homes.

The project aims to help entrants aged between 13 to 25 kick-start business ideas that will benefit the local community.

Jace Joseph finished first at the event, mesmerizing judges with his proposition for a mobile bike repair business that would provide callout services to cyclists experiencing road problems.

Jace said: “Enterprise inspired me to try something, have an idea and hopefully do it, and if you fail you then go forward and try again.”

He already has plans for the future; training young people with cycle repair shops in schools and youth centres. In spite of such ambition he was still anxious in front of the panel of judges.

He said: “I found the presentation very daunting and was nervous pitching my idea. However, all the judges were very welcoming and gave good feedback.”

Akinbode and Robinson, finished as runners with two comprehensive business plans.

Akinbode pitched an online games platform that assesses school children’s general knowledge and cultural awareness. While Robison’s business plan aimed to encourage young individuals from black and minority ethnic communities to promote ambition through a combination of informative workshops and mentorship schemes.

The three candidates will now develop their business plans with the assistance and aid of a support package that includes one-to-one mentoring, help on writing a business plan, legal advice, finances and marketing.

Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, Jo Revett said: “It is fantastic to see three ideas which will provide services and benefits to the neighbourhood as a whole as well as our entrepreneurs.”

Cllr Philip Glanville, cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s brilliant that these young entrepreneurs will now see their ideas turned into reality.”

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