Dragons return to Gateshead

To launch National Enterprise Week in Gateshead on Monday, Gateshead Council re-opened the door to its Dragons' Den - and invite local people to step inside to try their luck.

Some of the region's most prominent local business people agreed to assume the role of Dragons in a re-run of a project which earlier this year helped a number of local people to start up their own businesses.

Now, as this year's Enterprise Week gets underway, Gateshead Council will begin the search for more future entrepreneurs who are looking to turn their own business ideas into reality.

Unlike the TV dragons, the Gateshead ones don't offer cash - instead they provide their experience and business skills, and practical support such as marketing and legal advice, business contacts, and long-term guidance and mentoring, all of which is aimed at giving new businesses the best possible start.

People living in the Dunston and Teams area of Gateshead were the first to be given the chance to brave the Dragon's Den. Because of its success - and the enthusiasm of the Dragons - Gateshead Council decided to run the scheme again, but this time inviting people from other parts of Gateshead to take part.

Gateshead's Dragons include Karen Carr, Marketing Manager of the MetroCentre, Dave Roberts of Benfield Motors, and John Marshall, a senior solicitor at Dickenson Dees.

Anne Britton, head of Economic Development for Gateshead Council, said: "What we are creating here is a unique partnership between people keen to start up their own business and some of the brightest business brains in the region.

"We saw the success of the TV programme and we knew that practical help from experienced business people could really help people make a success of their business idea. That's what led us to create our own Dragons' Den.

"We proved that it works, and I have every confidence that it will work again."

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