Entrepreneur Academy Final 2017 hosted by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and East Surrey College

21 November 2017

It was another exciting ‘Dragons Den’ style competition for the final of the Entrepreneur Academy 2017. Hosted by East Surrey College on Thursday 16 November 2017, this event is now in its 5th consecutive year.

The Entrepreneur Academy is run by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in partnership with East Surrey College. The six-month course supports local entrepreneurs providing an opportunity to gain the essential skills needed to set up a business; which includes business planning, finance, marketing, legal aspects and online business promotion.

The six members of the Academy pitched their ideas to a panel of Dragons, which included Rosemary French OBE, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, to compete for a £5,000 investment grant provided by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council.

Following impressive pitches to the Dragons, the joint winners of the 2017 Entrepreneur Academy were Flori Maisonneuve who received £4,000 towards her children's craft activity kit company, Squiggle Dot and Squeeze (www.squiggledotandsqueeze.co.uk) and David Solomon who received £1,000 towards his business, Tor Training UK (www.tortraining.com) which specialises in personal health and fitness.

Councillor Eddy Humphreys, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Jobs commented:

“The Entrepreneur Academy is the ideal opportunity for anyone who is looking for expert support and advice to get their own business started. Since the Academy started, many members have gone on to launch successful businesses. The business ideas pitched to the Dragons this year were again of a high quality and it was a difficult choice to select the winner.”

Flori Maisonneuve, winner of £4,000 commented:

“I came to the course with a passion for my product and left with belief in it!”

David Solomon, winner of £1,000 said:

“My personal growth since starting the Academy has been amazing. My understanding of social enterprise and business communication is of a higher level and it’s a great feeling to be a winner after a long year.”

East Surrey College’s Director of Business Development, Kam Dehal commented:

“It’s never easy starting a new business and even more challenging sustaining it into the future.  East Surrey College is proud to have worked in partnership with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, celebrating 5 years of entrepreneurial talent on this programme.  I can’t wait for next year, as the standard is always exceptionally high.”

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