Loddon business students experience ‘Dragons’ Den’.

Sixth form business students have been putting their entrepreneurial skills to the ultimate test in a 'Dragons' Den' style event.

The boardroom was set up in the Langley School ornate Ballroom, on Langley Park, near Loddon, and was organised as part of an initiative by the UK-wide Young Enterprise Scheme.

Marketing and alumni manager at Langley School, Ed Hill, said: 'The students got real advice from real businessmen and this reinforces what the teachers are teaching them. It is more realistic.'

Mr Hill was one of the Dragons, alongside David Bryant, retired director at Persimmon Homes, Peter Burton, owner of Continental Products, who has the franchise for all LPG gas sales in East Anglia and Jonathan Thursby, owner of EV, micro camera specialists who have worked on Top Gear.

The event was part of an after-school club and was offered to the students as part of a range of extra-curricular activities at the sixth form. The Young Enterprise activity is open to sixth-formers who are studying Business Studies and acts as a seventh lesson on the day at the school.

Speaking of the students' excitement about the event Mr Hill said: 'They have never run a company and most have not opened a bank account, so this is their first experience.

'They know they'll have successes and failures.'

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Although 'the Dragons' were not asked to, and did not part with any money, they received a pitch from the students and grilled them to make sure they had conducted sufficient research to make sure they had thought about how they were going to organise their new company.

Since the event, the team, assisted by Stephen Read, teacher of law, have set up a partnership, called Langley Merchandise.

Is your school organising an exciting event? Contact Local Life editor Donna-Louise Bishop at donna-louise.bishop@archant,co.uk or call 01603 772438.