Students from Macclesfield College have put their business skills to the test after taking part in a Dragons’ Den style competition.

The young entrepreneurs, who are currently studying BTEC Year 2 Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business, were part of four teams tasked with creating a business idea.

They then had to present their plan to a panel of experts which included Nick Bianchi, Managing Director of Arighi Bianchi, Ian Cottrill, Business Relations Manager at Franklyn Financial Management, Macclesfield College Governor Martin Wright and Macclesfield College Assistant Principal Chantelle Dewberry.

Each team presented a unique proposition. Final Course presented a dessert making business, The Noodle Bar showcased a fast food takeaway with the option of eating in and Part of the Pack described a dog care service including boarding, pet grooming and dog walking.

The fourth business, Provide and Ride, outlined a taxi service collecting clients from the airport as they return from holiday before providing them with food essentials such as milk and bread.

All students had to carry out market research ahead of their pitch and prepare detailed financial information to prove the validity of their business models.

To foster a competitive spirit surrounding the competition there was a prize for the most viable idea, with all teams having to show excellent communication skills and knowledge to try and impress the panel of judges.

Only one business could secure the experts’ backing though and it was Part of the Pack who impressed the judges the most. “Part of the Pack showed first class presentation skills and also delivered a well prepared presentation,” said Course Leader Carole Uske.

She also explained how the Dragons’ Den scenario has benefited the students and will stand them in good stead going forward.

“This real life scenario tied in well with current units being studied by the learners such as ‘Starting a Small Business,’ ‘Market Research’ and ‘Business Accounting’ and provided the students with the opportunity to demonstrate employability skills such as teamwork, negotiation and leadership.

“Getting the chance to develop presentation skills was beneficial too as this will be very important when applying for a job role in industry once they finish the course.

“I was very impressed at the way the teams pitched their ideas and was proud of every learner who took part with such enthusiasm.”

In addition to Carole’s comments, Nick Bianchi has praised the students that took part, saying: “It was an absolute pleasure. I really enjoyed it. The college should be very proud of their students.”