BTEC Businesses Ready to Launch

Last month, I had the pleasure of being a judge in a Dragons' Den for our Business and Sustainability BTEC students. The event was kindly hosted by branding agency Karmarama in their wild and wonderful head office in Farringdon, writes Jane Riddiford.

Students had made the most of the potentials offered by having lessons in the Kings Cross Skip Garden. All four business groups applied their creative juices to the range of things that can be found and produced in the middle of a construction site, especially when plenty of volunteer help is on hand.

The result was four original and impressive micro-businesses: Fresh Finesse, Short Bakes & Sides, Touch Wood and (coincidentally!) Herbarama.

In front of a panel of four judges, including Strategists and Creatives from Karmarama, the students all gave a good pitch. They worked as teams and expertly thought on their feet. It was a great opportunity to have feedback from the professionals about how to develop the unique character of each of the ideas and make viable propositions.

The four businesses will be launched at the Skip Garden Christmas Market on Thursday, 5 December, from 12 to 2pm. Join us then for a chance to purchase beautiful and ethical handmade items, and to sample delicious foods, all made in King's Cross by local young people.

What the students said

This is what the BTEC students have to say about what they are offering and how the experience has been for them:

Habiba, from Fresh Finesse, who will be serving hot, savoury home-cooked meals:

I feel like developing my own business is an opportunity for me that many people don’t receive and it gives me many skills for my future, as well as many contacts with the world of business.

Sayra, from Touch Wood, who will be specialising in sustainable and handmade wooden products:

I will gain more experience from learning through what I will achieve from the business. Presenting to the panel at Karmarama was nerve-wracking, but after the presentation I felt I had achieved a goal and it led my group closer to gaining more confidence.

Rashid, from Herbarama, who will create and sell a variety of herb-based organic products:

I was nervous, but slowly started to get confident and was answering the questions they were asking.

Nazmina, also from Touch Wood said:

When we were presenting to Karmarama, I felt that I had to ensure we had a good pitch put together to make sure we impress the panel that we were speaking to. It meant that I had to think carefully about the structure of my speech for the panel and we had to look at a variety of perspectives of our business because we needed to be able to answer all possible questions that the panel could ask us.