Six local entrepreneurs were given a unique opportunity to apply for funding from Orbit Heart of England last Thursday. A Dragons Den style panel was set up at Lighthorne Heath Village Hall with “dragons” from Orbit Heart of England, Orbit Homes as well as Grant Richardson – an Independent Orbit Board Member.
The dragons den session was the climax of the 12 week “Strive Programme”, a course which was run by Enterprise Cube - a leading training organisation, with the aim of helping people understand the challenges and joys of running their own businesses. The entire programme was funded by Orbit to support customers who find traditional employment routes impractical or who needed that extra support to work towards making their business idea a reality.
In total, Orbit provided funding totalling £5,000 with a commitment to provide further mentoring as well as key introduction meetings with external partners to help the entrepreneurs kick-start their businesses.
Ernest James from Southam said, “The training was invaluable, and I am really looking forward to taking the knowledge I have gained and putting it into practice.”
Ernest’s company works within the social care industry and provides accommodation, support and mentoring services for young people who have left care or are in the transition into independence. He said “the funding I have received to improve and enhance the website is so valuable in helping the company progress and I am extremely grateful to Orbit for the opportunity.”
The dragons were overwhelmed by the presentations on the day. Sam Scharf, Head of Community Investment at Orbit said, “We were really impressed by the huge potential of the business ideas we saw on the day and the passion and enthusiasm shown. I am really pleased that this programme has had such a positive impact on our customers and look forward to seeing them fulfil their dreams of becoming their own boss.”