The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, is offering a unique opportunity for Croydon’s next Richard Branson or Michelle Mone to set up in business.
The team which is delivering the redevelopment of the town’s retail centre is bringing its own Dragons’ Den-style competition to Croydon and is ready to back fresh and exciting new business ideas with seed funding and dedicated mentoring advice and support from its team of business experts.
The competition launched on Saturday 27th June 2015 and invites residents of Croydon to complete a short application form outlining their business idea before 11th September. Entrants with the best ideas will then be invited to pitch to senior figures from Westfield and Hammerson, two of the world’s best known and highly regarded retail companies
Business ideas do not need to be retail-based, and the winning applicant will receive; £4,000 of seed capital, a start-up tool kit fund worth £1,000, a dedicated mentor and potential for pop up space in the town centre.
The initiative is part of the Croydon Partnership’s commitment to supporting business enterprise across the borough through its Partners in Business pledge, which forms part of its Community Plan. The plan encompasses a range of initiatives which have been established to ensure that the town, its residents, local businesses and grass roots community organisations will begin to benefit immediately and over the long-term from the re-development.
Steve Yewman from the Croydon Partnership said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone in Croydon to turn their business dream into reality. While the financial support is clearly a major incentive, it’s the guidance and support the winner will receive from their mentor which will set them on the road to making their business a success. We may not be as fearsome as the real Dragons, but we have high expectations and can’t wait to be pitched a business offer we can’t refuse!”
The finalists are expected to be announced in early November. Following the presentations to the Westfield and Hammerson “Dragons”, the winner will be announced at the end of November.