Key Construction recreate ‘Dragon’s Den style’ event for students

The winning students Tim Sawrey and Olivia Scott-Martin with Bernard Callinan from Key Construction

The winning students Tim Sawrey and Olivia Scott-Martin with Bernard Callinan from Key Construction

Business students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull took part in a ‘Dragons Den’ style event to compete for an award from business partners Key Construction (Midlands).

Four groups of students presented their business plan to a panel of judges. The ‘dragons’ were Key Construction managing director Bernard Callinan, former student Jim Hart, who now runs his own architectural practice called West Hart Partnership, Janice Hamilton, vice principal of the college and the college’s procurement officer Peter Brown.

They listened to the students deliver a 15-minute presentation on their business ideas, before firing questions at them to see how they handled cross-examination.

The winning presentation was delivered by Olivia Scott-Martin and Tim Sawrey, who came up with a business plan for a beauty salon called Modello Hair & Beauty.

They impressed the judges with their thorough research and realistic accounts. The entrepreneurial duo received gold certificates and £200 and will also be presented with a trophy at the end-of-year College Awards Evening.

Second were Samad Khan and Jaglit Dhouper. Their small business idea was to set up a sweet shop called Piccadilly Sweets. The dragons were impressed by the way they targeted their business at ethnic minority communities to offer vegetarian and gelatine free confectionery. They received a £100 second place prize.

In joint third place were the businesses Lygocox and BV International.

Lygocox was the brainchild of student Adam Cox, who wanted to set up as an agent for Morphy Richards, while BV International was a business to business import firm for clothing and electronics, the brainchild of Ashish Vadukul and John Bauckham.

Key Construction’s Bernard Callinan said: “It was a real honour to be invited by the college to establish this brand new award for the BTEC Business students. This was enhanced further when witnessing the real talent and enthusiasm the students displayed during the competition. We look forward to providing continuing support to the college and this event in the years to come.”

Ruth Sharp, assistant curriculum leader for business, said: “This was a fantastic event and we must thank Bernard and Key Construction for sponsoring the event, as well as Jim Hart for giving up his time. I’m so proud of the students, who represented the college with such professionalism and intelligence. They looked the part in their business suits and they acted the part, with outstanding presentations and well thought out answers to questions. I hope this will be the first of many events like this for years to come.”