Be your own boss - enter the dragon's den

Published: 22 February 2006 at 16:12

Anglia Ruskin University is encouraging people from its Cambridge and Essex campuses - who are considering starting their own business in 2006 - to find out if they have got what it takes to manage their own business.

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Senior lecturers in entrepreneurship and innovation, Robert Jones and Geoff Abbot, from the Ashcroft International Business School (AIBS) have formulated a series of enterprise network meetings called 'Fast Forward' for students, staff, graduates of the University, and anyone who wants help with starting a new enterprise.

A range of expert help is on offer within the workshops, which were developed to follow the resurgence of interest in new business start-ups and initiatives, sparked by programmes such as the BBC's Dragon's Den series (in which individuals pitch ideas to successful business personalities in order to secure finance).

Robert Jones explains:

"The idea is gaining momentum and we have only just started to roll-out the programme. What we can do is help people to develop the abilities, skills, motivation and confidence they need to succeed in business. We are unlocking the creativity in individuals and turning ideas into reality."

Fast Forward actively encourages participation from the female entrepreneurial network and not-for-profit entrepreneurs and will help with market research, business plans, financial planning, marketing and presenting ideas for growth. The group intends to create a student-run management consultancy firm aimed at small businesses.

A team will also be created for the "Innovators" student business plan competition, sponsored by i10, the Eastern region's network of ten universities which provides innovation, expertise and assets to businesses from the region.

Forthcoming Fast Forward sessions include developing your enterprise skills and market entry. Fast-Forward workshops are staged every Monday in the Ashcroft Building (MAB208) in Chelmsford and every Wednesday in the Helmore Building (HEL251) in Cambridge. The sessions run from 5.30pm-7.30pm.

For further information contact Robert Jones on 0845 271 3333 or email