Students enter the Dragons’ Den with IoD volunteers

A team of IoD volunteers recreated TV show Dragons’ Den when they attended an Enterprise Day at a Cambridgeshire school.

Around 180 Year 8 students at Linton Village College teamed up and became entrepreneurs – creating, developing and pitching their innovative business ideas to our members.

The aim was to give each student experience of the skills and behaviours necessary to be successful in business and work. For those who want to become an entrepreneur, the exercise helped them to understand their own strengths and areas for development.

The Enterprise Day was held in partnership with Form the Future, a social enterprise based in Cambridge which connects schools and businesses. Form the Future’s projects and events help students to become better prepared for the working world.

The day was run by Alex Hughes of business support network Shifties, along with David Brockway and Jennifer Wilby of Form the Future. Richard Holdaway and Cassie Chisholm from our East of England branch team were also in attendance.

Huge thanks to our intrepid volunteers – Sadia Ahmed, Deborah Cleary and branch vice-chair Philip Worrall. The ‘dragons’ team has accepted an invitation to another pitching event at the Joyce Frankland Academy, Essex, on 12 July.

Sadia Ahmed said: “Over the years as a business leader I have seen growing concern over sustainability issues but for me, sustainability within a business context is not just environmental sustainability. It is the combined triple bottom line Planet, People and Profit that truly makes a business ‘sustainable’.

“A big part of the People element is ensuring sustainability of talent. Directors need to look beyond the borders of their business, to go further and inspire the next generation, nurture talent early and help build the pipeline.

“What better way to do this than engaging with schools, universities and grass roots organisations? How better to introduce people, particularly young people, to the world of business than to get out there and take your experience and enthusiasm to them?

“A day of your time could spark something for a young person and at the very least give a memorable experience to them (and you!).”

Richard Holdaway, IoD senior branch manager for the East of England, said: “The feedback from both members and the school has been amazing and we’re delighted with the response and support from our members.”

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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