Would you brave going into Dacorum’s Den?

Alex Bayliss, Mike Penning and Asda people manager, Eve Warren
Alex Bayliss, Mike Penning and Asda people manager, Eve Warren

FOUR fearsome ‘dragons’ are on the look out for small businesses with big ideas in Dacorum.

Dacorum’s Den is an adaptation of the popular Dragons Den TV show where entrepreneurs pitch ideas to would-be partners.

Lisa Devayya, Dacorum Borough Council's learning and skills regeneration officer

Lisa Devayya, Dacorum Borough Council's learning and skills regeneration officer

A brainchild of Dacorum Borough Council it will, from August, be looking for small firms either in the process of starting up or wanting to try new ideas.

From August a limited amount of funding will be available in grants of up to £1,000 for firms with fewer than 50 employees.

Councillor Terry Douris, planning and regeneration chief at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “Dragons Den is an extremely popular television programme and I am delighted that we are using this format to develop our own Dacorum’s Den to enable smaller businesses to access some much-needed funds to deliver their own particular projects. This will ultimately be to the benefit of the local business community and Dacorum at large”

This fund can be used for test trading a product or service, expanding into a new market, diversifying into a new product area, promotion of a new product or service, buying equipment or tools to improve efficiency/launch a new business or producing a prototype.

Andy Cook, chairman of Maylands Partnership, in Hemel Hempstead

Andy Cook, chairman of Maylands Partnership, in Hemel Hempstead

Shortlisted applicants must agree to see a business advisor at Maylands Business Centre for an initial assessment before presenting their idea to the panel on August 17. The panel is Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning, Maylands Partnership chairman Andy Cook, council skills supremo Lisa Devayya and a representative of Hemel company Hopespare.

> Phone 01442 531003, visit www.dacorum.gov.uk/dacorumsden or email lesley.crisp@dacorum.gov.uk