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Orbit hosts Dragons Den style event to help local entrepreneurs in Bexley

Sixteen local entrepreneurs were given a unique opportunity to apply for funding from Orbit South on Wednesday 15 July. A Dragons Den style panel was set up at Orchard House in Bexley with “dragons” from Orbit South and Wates Living Space.

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 of £4,900 with a commitment to provide further mentoring, key introduction meetings with external partners and in some cases discounted rents on commercial properties to help the entrepreneurs’ kick-start their businesses.

Leon Smith from Bexley said, “My confidence has really grown over 13 weeks. I would never have thought I could pitch to the Dragons before the course. Orbit helped me turn my weaknesses into strengths and my own business.”

Leon’s company, Total Trauma Cleaning, offers a unique cleaning service that can offer assured sanitisation to protect against biohazards. The company can clean premises to a clinical standard and can remove any dangers including Norovirus and MRSA.

The dragons were overwhelmed by the presentations on the day. Vivien Knibbs, Executive Director at Orbit said “We saw some very promising business proposals at the event and were really impressed by the passion and enthusiasm shown by all of the participants. 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 running their own businesses.”