The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, has announced the four budding business entrepreneurs who have made the shortlist and will now get the chance to pitch their business idea to the “Dragons”.
The hotly anticipated Dragons’ Den-style competition final is taking place on 24th November 2015. Each finalist will pitch their fresh and exciting idea and prepare to be grilled by the panel of four Westfield and Hammerson “Dragons”, two of the world’s best known and highly regarded retail companies.
The shortlist of Croydon’s future tycoons have the chance to win £4,000 of seed capital, a start-up tool kit fund worth £1,000, a dedicated mentor and potential for pop up space in the town centre.
The four finalists are:
Mum’s The Chef – A social enterprise that aims to tackle long term unemployment among women and young people in Croydon by cooking their way to success. Their business plan focuses on the ‘Wellbeing Café’ and promoting the produce as well as the courses provided by the enterprise.
Baby Face Dolls – A small business making and selling dolls that are hand made to look and feel like real babies, with ambitions to expand and employ locally.
Once Upon a Cheesecake Online Boutique – an online boutique that sells handmade gourmet cheese based desserts that are gluten free. The boutique aims to further expand to supply coffee shops, cafés, restaurants and delicatessens.
Hobby Centre – A retail outlet that specialises in retro toys such as model trains, plastic kits and die cast models for the core markets of the 50+ age group and children. The outlet will also provide space for younger customers to play with the models in an engaging and interactive environment. The opportunity will provide employment to local people.
Steve Yewman from The Croydon Partnership said: “The standard of entries we received was exceptionally high and the finalists we have selected are particularly impressive. We’re looking forward to hearing about their business plans in more detail and asking some tough questions to help decide on our winner.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the shortlisted entrepreneurs to kick-start their business idea. The mentoring and financial support will help navigate through the process, turning their business plan into reality or taking a small business to the next stage of its development.”
The initiative is part of The Croydon Partnership’s commitment to supporting business enterprise across the borough through the Partners in Business strand of its Community Plan. The plan encompasses a range of initiatives which have been established to ensure that the town, its residents, local businesses and grass roots community organisations will begin to benefit immediately and over the long-term from the re-development.
The winner will be announced following the final on 24th November.