Dragons’ Den star backs city enterprise festival

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DRAGONS’ Den star Peter Jones CBE has given his backing to another great idea - Sheffield’s MADE festival for entrepreneurs.

The businessman, who employs more than 1,000 people in 25 firms, was hosting two of the headline events today.

This morning he was appearing at the Mercure St Paul’s Hotel in the Peace Gardens in Sheffield city centre to talk about his vision for young entrepreneurs in Britain to have a ‘British dream’.

In the afternoon he was hosting a session for youngsters to quiz successful entrepreneurs.

MADE is set to attract 2,000 budding tycoons to hear speakers including Mark Prisk MP, minister for business and enterprise, and a host of successful entrepreneurs including Plusnet founder Lee Strafford and Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton Bicycles, the folding bike specialists.

The festival features talks, panel discussions, question times and a Dragons’ Den style pitching session.

Events are being held until Friday at venues including the Mercure Hotel, The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield Digital Campus and the universities.

It is Peter Jones’ second appearance at the festival after attending the first MADE last year. He has also shown his commitment to nurturing tomorrow’s business leaders through his Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, which runs courses at Sheffield City College.

Brendan Moffett, director of organisers Marketing Sheffield, said: “MADE has really put Sheffield on the map as the UK’s city for entrepreneurship. The UK needs to nurture new talent and ensure we help them to grow their ideas into successful businesses. Sheffield is the place to get those conversations started.

“The festival is a symbol of optimism about what business can do to spearhead the economic recovery.”