01:02AM, Friday 06 December 2013
Budding entrepreneurs have been given the chance to make a Dragons Den-style pitch about their business plans after graduating from a 12-week course.
Fourteen graduates from this year's STRIVE programme were invited along to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel on Tuesday to present their ideas to a panel of judges and receive certificates from the Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Andrew Jenner.
The group had been taking part in a start-up business initiative funded by the Royal Borough's big society panel, in partnership with Housing Solutions and Radian.
The scheme, delivered by the Enterprise Cube, involved participants attending a course for one day a week to learn about making a business plan, marketing and sourcing funding.
After completing the course, they then became eligible to apply for a £500 grant to kick-start their idea, with graduates also receiving six months of support and advice.
Among the ideas in line for support are a hair accessories business and a driving school.
Jessica Bower-Breen, from Windsor, was one of the graduates and is planning to start a puppy crèche and dog walking business.
The 21-year-old said: "The course has given me a lot of advice and help in how to start my own business and I can't wait to find my own premises and get going.
"I've also learned how to market my business with my own website and business cards and have gained confidence in selling myself and my services.
"I recommend the programme to anyone who is looking to get their foot on their own business career ladder."
A taster session for anyone looking to take part in next year's programme will take place at the Housing Solutions offices in Waldeck Road, Maidenhead, between 11am and 1pm on January 14.
Call 01628 685661 to book a place.
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