Derry entrepreneurs to pitch to local 'dragons'

Martin Gallen from Banba Designs & Strabane Chamber of Commerce, Fionnuala Deane from Dog Ears, and Liam Nelis from Gradon Architecture, prepare for the £10k Business Challenge Pitchathon style event which will be held at North West Regional College's Foyle Theatre on March 8.
Gareth McKeown

SEVEN budding entrepreneurs from the Derry & Strabane District Council area will be pitching their business ideas to five local ‘dragons' next week after being announced as the finalists of the £10k Business Start-up Challenge.

Now in its second year, the challenge is a competition developed by the council to reward creativity and innovative business ideas that will benefit the local economy. The competition also aims to inspire, encourage and develop a spirit of entrepreneurship and enterprise throughout the council area – and provide assistance both financially and via specialised business support to entrepreneurs that have demonstrated the ability to create jobs and export their products into new markets.

The competition was open to companies who have been trading within the last year, have a unique business idea and completed the 'Go For It' Programme. Seven businesses have now been shortlisted to pitch their ideas in front of the local ‘dragons' and are in with a chance of winning the first prize of £2,500. Second place will also be recognised with £2,000 and third £1,500, while four runner up prizes of £1,000 ensure all finalists will be rewarded for their efforts.

The seven finalists who will pitch their businesses on March 8 in North West Regional College's Foyle Theatre are Hempful, Café Scoup, So 27 Skincare, Wedding Crechers, The Suit Lounge, Pedraza and 2 North.

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