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Date: 08 April 2022

Dragons’ Den came to East Surrey College last week when we hosted the 2021 Entrepreneur Academy Awards!

Eight budding local entrepreneurs delivered inspiring pitches to a panel of local business leaders in a bid to win investment in their companies. 

Following impressive presentations from all the entrants, the prize fund was split between Inner Art Tuition and Nature Reclaimed to help develop their businesses.

The DragonsĀ  Business Entrepreneur presenting to the Dragons
The Dragons  Business Entrepreneur presenting to the Dragons


Simon Bland, Head of Economic Prosperity at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “This is the 9th year we have run the Entrepreneur Academy and we are always impressed by the quality of local Entrepreneurs.  We couldn’t do the pitches without our fabulous dragons and the guest presenters who generously give up their time.”

The competition is part of the Entrepreneur Academy, a free programme run by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in partnership with East Surrey College.

The Academy invites entrepreneurial residents to apply for the opportunity to learn the essential skills needed to set up and grow their new business.

Topics covered as part of the course include business planning, finance, marketing, legal, and digital communication skills, with the programme concluding with the opportunity to pitch for £5,000 in business funding.

Dragons and winners
Dragons and winners*


Jayne Dickinson, Chief Executive, Orbital South Colleges added: “Once again, the quality and range of the pitches was inspiring, and we’re delighted to support our local entrepreneurs through this ongoing partnership”.

Many congratulations to Inner Art Tuition and Nature Reclaimed.  If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who would like to apply to take part in the 2022 Academy, visit the Entrepreneur Academy pages of the Reigate & Banstead website for more information.

*Dragons and winners (from left to right):   
Judge Matt Turner, Entrepreneur and CEO of the Creative Group
Judge Rosemary French OBE
Winner Kate Beth Hopper, Inner Art Tuition
Winner Katy Markwardt, Nature Reclaimed
Judge Spencer Copping, WS Planning, Reigate Business Guild
Simon Bland, Economic Prosperity Reigate & Banstead Borough Council

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