Manchester Airport’s Community Network to run Dragons’ Den competition for local school pupils


·       Competition is open to Year 9 and Year 10 pupils from schools across Manchester and Cheshire

·       Competition for young entrepreneurs resumes after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic

·       Pupils compete to win a VIP theatre evening out and will raise cash for charity in the process

Manchester Airport’s Community Network has announced the return of its popular Dragons’ Den competition for school pupils in its neighbouring communities.

This year’s competition will be the 12th edition and follows a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Groups of up to six budding entrepreneurs will work together to develop a business model and bid for a business start-up loan of £200.

Once they have secured the loan, teams will purchase materials, make their gift, and market and sell the product in their local communities, with items to retail for a maximum of £8. Each group will be assigned a mentor from the Manchester Airport Community Network to guide them through running their start-up.

The overall winner will be the team that declares the most profit at the Grand Final in December, with all proceeds going to their choice of one of six charities. The winning group will enjoy a VIP trip to see the Lion King at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. There will also be a runner-up prize for the group with the best eco credentials.

A panel of ‘Dragons’, including representatives from Manchester Airport’s leadership team and bosses from other businesses based on the airport site, will also award additional prizes for best presentation and most innovative start-up enterprise.

The winners in 2019 were a group of six pupils from Priestnall School, who designed a selection of Manchester worker bee tote bags, Christmas cards and badges, raising £7,037 for their chosen charity, the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said: “Inspiring young minds is an important part of the role we play in our surrounding communities, and we are thrilled to be bringing back the Dragons’ Den competition, which has proven incredibly popular previously.

“The great thing about this competition is that not only does it give pupils participating an invaluable educational experience, and an insight into the world of work, it also raises thousands of pounds for good causes in our area, ensuring the wider community beyond the schools participating can share in the benefits.

“Previous editions of the competition have set the bar very high and impressed our Dragons with their ingenuity, so we are all eager to see what this year’s competitors are able to produce.”

Applications must be submitted via www.manchesterairport.co.uk/education  by 27th September.

For more information on the Dragons’ Den competition and Manchester Airport’s Community Relations programme, visit https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/community/.