Tag Archive: Dragons’ Den

A Duke, a Dragon and a whiz kid

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SMART WAY TO SUCCESS: Arun Kumar receives his prize from Peter Jones and Senior Vice President of Brandpath ,Nick Wilcox

SMART WAY TO SUCCESS: Arun Kumar receives his prize from Peter Jones and Senior Vice President of Brandpath ,Nick Wilcox

‘Student of the year’ is rewarded for fantastic achievement

An entrepreneurial academic from Kirklees College has been named as the ‘Student of the Year’ in a prestigious nationwide contest.

Arun Kumar was awarded the accolade in the ‘Level Three category’ from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and was invited to London’s Freemason’s Hall to celebrate.

There, he joined young people from colleges across the country for an afternoon ceremony with Peter Jones CBE, whose charity, the Peter Jones Foundation, runs the academy.

All students collected scrolls from the Dragons’ Den star and HRH the Duke of York, who is patron of the Peter Jones Foundation.

A select few received individual awards in recognition of their achievements throughout the year.

Judges said Arun, from Meltham, was selected for ‘demonstrating the key entrepreneurial qualities the courses aim to achieve’.

Michael Hayman MBE said on stage Arun had been rewarded for his ‘brilliant combination of talent, attitude and achievement’.

Arun said: “Thank you to everyone at PJEA and Kirklees College for your support and guidance this year.

“I am humbled and ecstatic about winning the award. It was also an honour to meet Peter Jones and HRH The Duke of York. Best of luck to everyone at PJEA and see you next year.”

The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy is a nationwide network of colleges that deliver specialist courses in enterprise and entrepreneurship, promoting a practical approach to business education.

Students are encouraged to set up and run their own businesses, gaining real-life experience of what it takes to get a company off the ground.

Peter Jones said: “Every year I am more and more impressed by the confidence, dedication and passion shown by our students.

“I launched the academy
in 2009 to give young entrepreneurs the
skills and opportunities to pursue a worthwhile and rewarding career.

“As the UK embarks on an uncertain post-EU economic path, young people - as the next generation of business leaders - have a crucial role to play in our country’s future. It is important that they come together to propel the UK’s entrepreneurial sector firmly forward.”

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Dragons can’t extinguish Sajida’s hopes of business success

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ON FIRE: Sajida says her X-Grey product range has received a number of enquiries since her appearance on Dragon’s Den

ON FIRE: Sajida says her X-Grey product range has received a number of enquiries since her appearance on Dragon’s Den

No grey hairs for cosmetics queen following den disaster

A businesswoman from Leeds, whose appearance on Dragons’ Den sadly resulted in no investment from the dragons, says the experience has only made her more determined to succeed.

Sajida Rashid, from Roundhay, appeared on the hit BBC One show on 27th December 2015, looking for a £50,000 investment in exchange for 10 per cent of her company: Xgrey.

Despite being knocked back by the five potential investors, the publicity alone has already proven to be worthwhile for the former salon owner, who also owns another company which manufactures and distributes hair loss products, with thousands of orders being placed for her anti-aging hair care products.

Emerging from the den with ‘no regrets’, Sajida says the experience is one of the best she could have hoped for ‘reaching out to millions of potential customers’.

“I don’t want to come out and sound bitter but I do think some of the comments, especially from Deborah [Meaden], were unwarranted,” she said.

“The judges seemed to have made their mind up before they had the chance to ask me any questions, and when they did, it was clear that they did not understand my product or the cosmetics industry.

“Rather than asking about my projected growth, my experience or even how much the products would cost, they asked me such basic questions that would not give them any understanding of the business.”

After applying for the show in August 2014 with the support of her staff from a separate manufacturing and distribution company she owns, Sajida waited five months for a reply before finally receiving a phone call in January of last year.

Impressing BBC television executives enough to land a spot on the show, she was finally invited down to the ‘Den’ for its filming in May.

Much of the criticism in the show came from Deborah Meaden, who questioned the product’s testing methods, referring to the safety hazard sheet as a ‘horror story’.

These comments have been slammed by Sajida, saying Deborah ‘quite clearly has no understanding of the manufacturing process for Cosmetics otherwise she would not have said what she did’. 

“I was disappointed that Deborah found the need to keep questioning the animal testing when she wouldn’t listen to any of my answers,” Sajida said.

“As I said on the show, I can confirm there was one raw ingredient, Glycerin, which was tested by the Cosmetic Ingredients Company in 2012 who carried out the research with regards to the active ingredients.

“Prior to and since filming Dragons’ Den in May, I can confirm that we do not purchase Glycerin from this company who carried out the animal testing. Our raw ingredients are purchased from a company who - like ourselves - do not engage in animal testing.

“Deborah’s comments were wrong.”

Following her television appearance, Sajida has received interest in her products from countries in almost every continent.

Support from family and friends have ensured she continues with the development of products.

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Dragon’s Den comes to Pudsey

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As part of our commitment to working in our community, we have a partnership with Crawshaw School in Pudsey through the Make the Grade Scheme.

For the last 18 months we have held a series of events with them from careers shows, interview practice days and even a mock trial while the students played all the roles in a trial held at the old Pudsey Magistrates Court. In May we held a Dragons’ Den event with the school’s GCSE Business Studies students.

Four teams had each prepared their marketing plans for their fictional  new law firm and had to pitch their plans to a team of Dragons consisting of Nigel Beck and Andrew Cumming of Pudsey Legal together with Marie Nicholl, relationship director at Nat West commercial, Darren Gower, Marketing Director at Eclipse Legal Systems and Councillor Mick Coulson.

EDUCATION: As part of Pudsey Legal’s partnership with the local Crawshaw’s School, a special Dragons Den-style event was held last month

EDUCATION: As part of Pudsey Legal’s partnership with the local Crawshaw’s School, a special Dragons Den-style event was held last month

Having seen the written plans before the presentation we were expecting the standard to be high and, once again, the students delivered!

The teams gave their 10 minute presentations and were then grilled by the Dragon’s. Try as we might, we could not trip them up. Each question we posed was confidently dealt with by every single member of the teams – even the trick ones!

In the end, there had to be a winner and this was the team who came up with the concept of Bradley and Co.
However all the dragons were full of praise for the enthusiastic way the students threw themselves into this challenge. The quality of work they produced (much of it in their own time) was fantastic to see.

All the teams received their Pudsey Legal goodie bag and school points with the winning team also each receiving a £25 book voucher.

Andrew said, “It is great to see how the students can put what they are learning in the classroom into a practical setting.

“This process challenged them in new ways, yet the quality of their work actually made our task as Dragons’ extremely difficult – all credit to them.

“The Make the Grade scheme is a fantastic way to help the students bridge the gap between school and the workplace and I would urge all local businesses to see what benefits the scheme can offer, not just the schools in their community, but also their business through staff engagement and motivation.”

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