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DRAGON’S DEN 2024 PRESENTS EMERGING TALENT FROM SOCIAL ENTERPRISE BUSINESSES

InvestFife news

March 11, 2024

The 2024 Dragon’s Den event, part of Economic Development’s Culture of Enterprise Programme, was held at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline. 

Primary and Secondary Schools from across Fife pitched a range of social enterprise ideas to a panel of local dragons. As part of the social enterprise’s success, the young people taking part were also asked to think about a cause close to their hearts to support.  

The local Dragons this year were: Marissa-Yassen Fleming – Business Adviser at Business Gateway Fife; Adam Fairweather – Academic Head, Faculty of Business, Enterprise and Tourism with Supported Programmes, Fife College; Adam Robertson, Textiles & Graphic Designer, Kalopsia Collective and John Penman, Managing Director, Fife Fabrications Ltd.  

Delivered in partnership with Social Enterprise Academy, Fife College, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), and Economic Development, Dragon’s Den is a wholly collaborative event which allows pupils to showcase their learning about running a social enterprise. Helping to build communities of the future, it also aligns with the Scottish Government’s ambition for a school-based sustainable social enterprise to be part of every school curriculum.  

Maria Lloyd, Head of Education, Fife Council said: "This was a fantastic Dragons Den event with 11 of our schools pitching their entrepreneurial ideas perfectly. I was pleased to see them so well prepared and excited to take part. It really is a great way for participants to develop and demonstrate their communication skills and teamwork. They came away feeling encouraged and proud in their ideas.” 

The Social Enterprise Academy’s social entrepreneurs supported the pupils to design, create and launch their social enterprises. The young entrepreneurs pitched for investment in the Den in front of the Dragons. A comprehensive pitch from winner 1 was St Andrews RC in Kirkcaldy who impressed the dragons.   

Nicole Stewart, Business Education teacher at St Andrews RC said: "A social issue that our group was passionate to support through their social enterprise is domestic abuse. The group made and sold their own line of homemade sock snowmen that are filled with rice infused essential oils. The group hope to expand their product line to include seasonal products and door stops. The group are ecstatic that they have won the £150 grant money as this will go a long way to go help develop their business. Enterprise is very important for our young people. The skills that the young people develop through these activities will help them throughout their lifetime. “ 

The judges decided, due to the high standard of all school pitches, to award a 2nd winner, Bellyeoman Primary School.  Teacher Claire Dingwall, who attended with her enterprise group commented: “We had an amazing time today; our first Dragon's Den Event was certainly one to remember. Jamie, Molly, Magdalena and Sophia pitched their idea to the Dragons with enthusiasm and confidence. They have been really dedicated to their Social Enterprise project from the beginning, so today's win provided recognition for all their hard work.  Giving something back to the community is not only incredibly rewarding but also gives opportunities for the children to build lifelong skills. Throughout our project the children have developed skills such as teamwork, leadership, and creativity.  We were all over the moon with the win today, it means so much to us. Thank you to everyone involved.” 

Adam Robertson from Kalopsia Collective, commented about his first time as a judge at the event: "Being part of the Dragon Den's 2024 was an amazing experience. The quality of enterprises these young people have created is exceptional. I was blown away by their understanding of challenges facing their communities, as well as their willingness to take them on and make some profit too!  

Opportunities to engage in enterprise at this age adds value to both students and the wider community, they help to lay the foundation for the next generation of socially minded businesses.  I'm excited to see what the students go on to do next!” 

John Penman from Fife Fabrications Ltd, who has previously judged at the Dragon’s Den event was overwhelmed: “It was great to see the enthusiasm of the young people at today’s Dragons Den event, they had worked so hard preparing for the event. Our young people are to all, our future economic success.”  

It was yet another fantastic and highly innovative Dragon’s Den this year! On behalf of Fife Council, our thanks to the Dragons, partners, local businesses, and schools for participating and making the event successful. 

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