Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge: Everything you need to know

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As we prepare to launch the 2015/16 Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge, we round up the main aspects you need to know about.

The Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge is back and bigger than ever, and with it comes the opportunity for young people to embark on an incredible entrepreneurial journey.

For the fifth year running, the North Herts and Stevenage Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge is open to local schools, charities/community groups and businesses.

What is the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge?

The Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge works by recruiting teams of lower sixth form students from local schools who are then matched with a mentor (Dragon) from a local business in their task to turn £100 into £1,000 for a local community group or charity through a business venture. Each team is also required to produce a business plan and final report.

How is the Challenge facilitated?

The Challenge runs across local hubs in Hertfordshire. North Herts CVS facilitates the North Herts and Stevenage Challenge. The Project Coordinator will be your main point of contact for information and resources. An essential toolkit will be provided so you will be made aware of the Challenge timeline and what is required.

How long does the Challenge last for?

The Challenge runs annually from September up until March. At a launch event in September all participants will have a chance to meet, network and will be assigned a team. At a celebration event in March, shortlisted teams will be asked to present their ideas to a panel of Super Dragons and a number of awards will be presented.

Who is eligible to take part?

There is a selection process involved. The North Herts and Stevenage Challenge is open to year 12 students from local schools and colleges. Businesses of all sizes can participate from sole trader to global corporation. Charity and community groups can take part but must be members of North Herts CVS.

What are the benefits of taking part?

The Challenge provides a great boost to the local community. For students it is an opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills, network with future employers, volunteer for a cause they care about and gain experience for their CV. Business people are able to demonstrate their CSR credentials in a tangible way, enhance the reputation of their company and provide mentoring opportunities for young people. Charities are given the opportunity to raise their profile and gain funding to support their core aims.

Is there a cost involved?

Each team is given a £100 seed capital. £50 is provided by the charity/community group and £50 from the business. The seed capital is then counted towards the final amount of money raised.

How do you sign up?

You will need to register your interest by contacting the Project Coordinator – Email info@nhcvs.org.uk or call 01462 689400. You will then be given an application form to complete which will be reviewed during the selection process. You will then be notified if your application has been successful. More information can be found on the North Herts CVS website.

 

Have you got what it takes to be a Dragon?

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Now in its fourth year, the North Herts CVS Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge is back, and with it comes the hunt for local ambitious business people to step forward and take on the role as Dragons to mentor budding entrepreneurs in an innovative competition. Businesses of all sizes from sole trader to global corporation across North Herts and Stevenage can participate.

The Challenge promotes skills development and entrepreneurship for young people and provides a wonderful boost to schools, businesses and the local community. The project works by recruiting teams of lower sixth form students from local schools who are then matched with a mentor (Dragon) from a local business in their task to turn £100 into £1,000 for a local community group or charity through a business venture.

The challenge will start in September and will run up until March. Taking on the role as a Dragon is a fantastic opportunity for business people to demonstrate their CSR credentials, provide mentoring opportunities for young people and make a difference to the local community.

Over the course of the Challenge, Dragons will be asked to commit to a minimum of three meetings with their Apprentice team and charity partner, advise and support their team on business related matters, and in producing their Project Business Plan and Final Report.

Last year Team Carbon of St Francis’ College were proclaimed the overall winners of the Challenge for raising the most money for their charity. Team Carbon was one of seven, shortlisted from local schools across North Herts and Stevenage.

The team were successful in raising £1,503.05 for the Time Bank Garden Team, under the support and guidance of their Dragon, Steve Grover from Hertfordshire Timber & Building Supplies Ltd.

They managed to raise the funds by hosting a very successful Fish & Chip Quiz Night and by creating bags of assorted chocolate thins and selling them at a range of events.

Steve Grover said: “I was drawn to the Challenge as I thought it was an excellent way to engage local schools with real businesses whilst helping the community at the same time with fundraising. I think that I learnt as much from the experience as the girls in my team did. I would recommend this to any local business person.”

At the end of the Challenge all of the teams will be invited to present to a panel of SuperDragons at a Final Awards Ceremony, and be in with a chance of winning a number of awards.

If you would like to take part in this year’s Challenge as a Dragon please contact Neena Raj by Tuesday 15th July on 01462 689400 or email info@nhcvs.org.uk for further information.