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Big Idea hits Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 18:48 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:16 06 July 2010

A NEW project is being launched this week as part of Entrepreneurship Week 2009 which will see young people pitching their ideas to a panel of Dragon's Den-type captains of industry as they battle it out for a cash prize and business guidance to get their idea off the ground.

A NEW project is being launched this week as part of Entrepreneurship Week 2009 which will see young people pitching their ideas to a panel of Dragon's Den-type captains of industry as they battle it out for a cash prize and business guidance to get their idea off the ground.

Called My Grand Idea, it is being driven by Corton teenage entrepreneur Ryan Holt and is aimed at young people aged between 15 and 18 from the Waveney area.

The 15-year-old has built up a number of enterprising projects and also a successful design agency, as well being in the top 100 for Sir Alan's Junior Apprentice, plus a columnist for The Journal.

Ryan said: “If you have an idea which you're passionate about, you just have to do it. That's what entrepreneurship is all about and why I am running this event for young people to showcase their ideas.”

My Grand Idea has got the support of local businesses such as Blue Lobster IT, Picture Studios, Screens Embroidery, Graphics Matter and The Journal who all think that it is important to support entrepreneurship in the town.

Simon Keeble, at Blue Lobster IT, said: “We feel privileged to be involved in a project such as this as it's important to give young people the support they need with their ideas. There are many routes to success including academia and practical experience. Irrespective of the route taken, improving aspirations and developing a `can do' attitude benefits individuals and the local economy.”

There are many examples of enterprising activities in the area and Ryan said they need to be shouted out more so that Lowestoft can be seen as being the entrepreneurial place it really is.

Young people who wish to pitch their idea in front of the “dragons”, will need to fill in an application form and say why they feel their idea is good and how it will be successful. However, only 20 successful applicants will be invited to pitch their ideas in the battle to win.

Hazel Johnson, head of Make your Mark for the East of England, said: “My Grand Idea will provide young people from the area with an opportunity to pitch a business idea to a panel of experts. Young people, who would normally struggle to get funding because of their age, can get some funding to make their business idea a reality. This is a fabulous event and one which will put Lowestoft on the map during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009.”

Over the past month Ryan, a pupil at Benjamin Britten High School, in Lowestoft, has got businesses to sponsor the event and persuaded people to become the “dragons”.

“My Grand Idea is intended to provide inspirational opportunities and get young people sharing their ideas and connecting with people as well as seeing their ideas go from paper to reality,” he said.

If you have a budding idea that you would like to pitch in front of the dragons for the chance of a cash prize and business guidance, log onto www.mygrandidea.co.uk for an application form and more information.

The closing date is November 6 and the finalist are due to go before the experts at the OrbisEngery Centre, in Lowestoft, on November 20.

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