Enterprising duo’s ‘Dragon’ success

Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students Susan Adams, Brandon Park, Ben Hindle and Duncan Couch, front, with Sheffield City College business enterprise manager Graeme Tidd and Paul Houghton, partner at Grant Thornton
Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students Susan Adams, Brandon Park, Ben Hindle and Duncan Couch, front, with Sheffield City College business enterprise manager Graeme Tidd and Paul Houghton, partner at Grant Thornton
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Two enterprising Sheffield City College students are getting help to turn their business ideas into reality.

Hamza Mohamed, aged 19, and Ben Hindle, 21, from the college’s Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, survived a ‘Dragons Den’ style experience in front of a panel of entrepreneurs and advisers to secure support for their plans.

Hamza wants to set up an online platform called Zarwil.com, to enable young writers to publish articles, while Ben, a war games enthusiast, wants to develop a range of laser cut terrain modules for table top battlefields.

Following their victories, Richard Baker, of business coaching company The Executives Mentor, will advise Hamza, who is also in discussions with Todd Hannula of Shine Business Centre in Leeds.

Meanwhile, Ben has been offered support from entrepreneur Andrew Spurr.

Hamza and Ben were among 17 students who took part in the ‘pitch for investment’ event, which was hosted by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills as part of its full-time enterprise qualification.

Ben said: “I found the pitch a truly fantastic opportunity, and one that I would not have dreamt of happening when I was looking for business courses to apply for last summer.

“It was an exercise in self confidence and projection which I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Hamza added: “The event was a great way of meeting lots of different people and gaining valuable advice.”

The event was backed by business advisers and accountants Grant Thornton, which supports the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy network throughout the UK.

Grant Thornton Sheffield partner Paul Houghton said: “It’s always inspiring to see the enthusiasm and innovation coming from our next generation of entrepreneurs.

“Some of the business ideas impressed the panel so much that the students were subsequently offered support to develop their businesses.

“We all believe that this type of enterprise education will play a key part in nurturing dynamic new businesses.”