19/03/19: Breckland Dragons invest in local innovative businesses

Wood Life ProjectBusinesses from a wide range of backgrounds, including app development, drone technology, eco-manufacturing and even an alpacas well-being project, have battled it out in a 'Dragons Den' style scheme to secure funding from a £100,000 business grants scheme run by Breckland Council.

After receiving applications earlier this year, the Breckland Innovation Den invited 10 potentially promising businesses and new start-ups to pitch for a share of £100,000 business development funding. The applicants presented their proposals to a panel of Innovation Dragons, who were ready to release grants between £4,000 to £20,000, though the panel could also offer additional or alternative support such as access to business mentoring. The applicants had to demonstrate how the funding would help them to deliver products or services within the district, drive employment, and explain how the grant would help them make their business sustainable for future growth.

The panel comprised: Cllr Chapman-Allen, Deputy Leader of Breckland Council; David Ruddy, Executive Director of West Suffolk College; Jeff Ward from Centurion Safety Products; and Valarie Watson-Brown from events and marketing company The Lively Crew. An example of the businesses being supported by the programme include HorseSaddlesForSale.co.uk and Let's Go Alpacas!

Andy Udall from Horse Saddles For Sale, whose business was successfully awarded investment commented ""We are really excited to have been given investment and support from the Breckland Innovation Den, which will include invaluable business monitoring to help us develop our marketing and  business strategy further. As a local Breckland business we see this level of commitment and encouragement from the Breckland Innovation Den as invaluable as we move the business forward".  

Sophie Gordon from Let's Go Alpacas who will receive business strategy and marketing mentoring support commented "As a result of the Breckland Innovation den I am thrilled to be receiving business development and marketing support, which I am confident will further progress and expand Let's Go Alpacas.  I can't wait to get started!

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Deputy Leader at Breckland Council, commented: "The panel was impressed by all of the presentations on the day, which highlighted the depth of talent and passion local entrepreneurs have for driving business in Breckland. As a panel we thoroughly interrogated their business plans and feel the chosen businesses, with the right support, should have a bright future here in Breckland. I personally look forward to seeing how these businesses perform over the coming months and years and wish them the best of luck."

Breckland Council has previously run similar grants programmes, with the first ever winner, Breckland Orchard, recently celebrating their tenth anniversary. Their sparkling soft drinks range is now being served across the UK is farm shops, delis, coffee shops and fine food halls.

                                                      Dragon's Den Panel

Last updated: 19/03/2019 16:00:43