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Dragons' Den scheme boosts students' entrepreneurial ambitions

Buckinghamshire New University has presented a total of £11,000 funding through its Dragons' Den competition to four students pursuing entrepreneurial business ideas.

A dozen students pitched their ideas to a panel of judges including one of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs and long-term university backer Mike Clare for funding of £2,000-£5,000 each.Dragons' Den

The judging panel also included Nick Coleman, founder of The Snaffling Pig Co, which makes a range of flavoured pork crackling products and received £70,000 investment on BBC Dragons' Den; Imran Malik, Former Senior Publicist at Columbia Records and director of Imran Malik Ltd; and Amelia-Eve Warden, co-founder of P&C PR.

Dragons' DenLydiah Igweh, who manages and coordinates student enterprise activity at Bucks New University said: "For many entrepreneurs wanting to run their own business it presents a special challenge with hidden pitfalls and can be a lonely road. We introduced the Bucks Dragon's Den events, with the financial support of Mike Clare, to help encourage and inspire students and graduates to make their ideas happen."

The recipients were:

BA (Hons) Professional Practice (Integrated Health and Social Care) student Evangeline Marteye (pictured top right) - £5,000 towards a lingerie brand for fuller-busted ladies, called Azaria Intimates.

BA (Hons) Business Management student Kenroy Simpson (pictured bottom right) - £2,000 for a unique gift card company called 'see wi yah!'.Dragons' Den

BA (Hons) Music and Live Events Management students Isaac Lewis and Jacob Mee (pictured middle left) - £2,000 for 'Disco in the Basement', an urban events company focusing on promoting different style events for different artists in different venues and settings.

Evangeline said: "Participating in Dragons' Den was a great opportunity to explore all aspects of my business in order to be able to showcase and allow people to gain an insight to my business.

"The support received through to the event was highly informative and receiving this funding of £5,000 has truly allowed me to believe in myself even more so than before. I can now take my business to the next level."

Mike Clare said: "I was hugely impressed by all of the entrants and delighted that we were able to support some of the students in their business ventures. I look forward to seeing how the ideas progress."

Bucks New University supports students in developing entrepreneurial ideas. Support includes guidance and assistance from its Careers & Employability Service, use of Launch Pad, a boardroom and office space, and Dragons' Den-style funding schemes.