you've ever had an idea to make money, Dragons' Den is THE show to
watch. All manner of money-spinning minds will step into the
intimidating world of business financing, determined to make their
dreams come true. All they need is the cash. To get this, they must
face the Dragons, all of whom are formidable business thinkers with
the money to make things happen.
- Theo Paphitis
in Cyprus, Theo came to England when he was six and was
running the tuck shop at his north London school at 15.
Starting out as tea boy at a City insurance broker, he found
his flair for retail as a shop assistant at Watches of
Theo returned to the insurance industry in sales at 20, where
he discovered his natural ability of pointing out the obvious
and applying common sense (which is not common). In no time he
was helping businesses in difficulty and this soon became a
full time role.
He has turned Ryman, Contessa, La Senza and Partners the
Stationers into successful and profitable retail businesses.
He now heads up a 350 store chain and a group turnover
approaching £250m. His latest ventures include Red Letter
Days, the company he salvaged out of administration with
fellow Dragon Peter Jones.
MEADEN | DUNCAN
BANNATYNE | PETER
JONES | RICHARD
FARLEIGH | THEO
& Dragons | TV
Show | Investment
Winners | Pitcher's
Applications | Downloadable
Picks - Essential links for business information.
You have to be doing something unique. If you're opening a sandwich
shop, remember there are a thousand other sandwich shops. What makes
you different? If you can't say, in one single sentence, what makes
you different, then you don't have a difference. If it's too complex
to explain then it's probably too complex to understand. Know what
makes you different.
The first thing a person has to understand when pitching a business is
what an investor is looking for. An investor is asking three
Investors are not your enemies. Investors are your partners. When you
sell a part of your company, what you're doing is getting married to a
stranger for a very long time. Be prepared for that. If you don't like
them from the outset then the chances are you're not going to like
them later. Even if you think you might get along with them, bear in
mind that if you commit, you're committed for a long time.
is a wealth of information out there for budding entrepreneurs and here
is a list of some websites that can put you in the picture.
Home Page Central resource for business news, programme information
and money advice.
a business A BBC consumer guide to starting out.
your small business A BBC News guide.
Started A ONE Life checklist on starting up your own business.
Lunch BBC 2's daily taste of the latest developments in business and
4 - In Business Radio 4's weekly look at trends and developments in
industry and the world of work.
Live - Wake Up to Money Find information on setting up in business,
managing money, personal finances and career moves.
Link Business Link is a government funded agency that provides
information, advice and support needed to start, grow and maintain a
Gateway Business Gateway is the Scottish equivalent of Business
Link, delivers an effective one stop shop to help you grow or start
Development Agencies Regional Development Agencies are strategic
drivers of regional economic development. They promote business
efficiency, investment and competitiveness and develop skills for
Business Development Agency Women's Business Development Agency
provides women with the specific support and advice they need to
start and sustain their own business.
Britain 2006 A nationwide competition to find the most
enterprising place in Britain, promoted by the Small Business
Service, an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, and
offering information and best practise on enterprise.
British Library The UK's national library holds vast business
research resources in its Business and IP Centre in London. Access
to the resources is free.
UK Patent Office The UK Patent Office is the UK body that is
responsible for copyright, designs, patents and trade marks.
Property Intellectual Property offers all the resources needed
to find a way through the IP jungle of copyright, designs, patents
and trade marks.
Institute of Patent Attorneys A non-profit advisory service with
a mass of information on patents as well as a directory of
registered patent attorneys around the UK.
Trade and Investment UK Trade and Investment is the Government
organisation that supports companies in the UK doing business
internationally and overseas enterprises seeking to set up or expand
in the UK.
Customs and Excise HM Customs and Excise is responsible for
collecting the bulk of tax revenue, as well as paying tax credits.
It offers free advice on tax, PAYE and VAT returns.
ACAS is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service which
can offer impartial advice on legal queries, working with employers
and employees to solve problems and improve performance.
Trust The Prince's Trust a charity that offers financial and
practical support, mentoring and training to 14-30 year olds.
Direct Learn Direct offers free personalised career advice
through a network of online learning centres across the UK.
Business Advice Service Small Business Advice Service offers
free online advice to small businesses.
Department of Trade and Industry Working to create the
conditions for business success and help the UK respond to the
challenge of globalisation.
National Federation of Enterprise Agencies A network of
independent, not for profit local agencies committed to responding
to the needs of small and growing businesses by providing a
comprehensive range of services.
Insight Help for business ideas and the organisation promoting
the annual Enterprise Week initiative.
of Commerce A national network of quality-accredited Chambers of
Commerce with links to businesses of all sizes.
is to be equipped with the SNAV intelligent autonomous navigation
system. This system is thought to be the only system under development
that is COLREGs