Surviving Dragons’ Den: How to Become a Greater Manchester Entrepreneur

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Surviving Dragons’ Den: How to Become a Greater Manchester Entrepreneur

  • Part of ‘Show Me The Money’, a new series created by Our Pass with OpenMoney.
  • Liam Manton, Director of Didsbury Gin, will share his experience of surviving Dragons’ Den, securing investment, building a business with a £1.5m turnover and adapting to donate over 2 million bottles of hand sanitiser during the pandemic.
  • He’ll be joined by Karina Jadhav, winner of the Businesswoman of the Year in the Northern Asian Power List Awards. Karina, who owns the Menagerie Restaurant & Bar in Salford, will talk about the challenges of running a business and the skills you need to survive.
  • Hosted by Liam Scholes, Chair of Greater Manchester’s Youth Combined Authority, with contributions on the night too from The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and OpenMoney Co-Founder Anthony Morrow.
  • The Prince’s Trust Enterprise team will also provide support, directing young people to organisations that can offer ongoing practical advice.
  • For further information visit our social channels (@OurPass_GM). Tickets are limited, so sign up as soon as possible is recommended.

Young people can learn how to survive Dragons’ Den and become a Greater Manchester entrepreneur in the second of a series of ‘Show Me The Money’ skills talks.

Guest speakers Liam Manton and Karina Jadhav, who both started out on market stalls, are now two of the city-region’s most successful young entrepreneurs.

The event live on Zoom, on Tuesday February 23, from 7pm, will dive into the world of great ideas, side-hustles and setting up your own business. It aims to give young people the lowdown on how to take their business idea to the next level.

Liam Manton has enjoyed great success with friend and business partner Mark Smallwood since they launched Didsbury Gin in 2017. The pair scooped a £75,000 investment on Dragons’ Den after impressing fellow Mancunian Jenny Campbell. During the pandemic their company has also produced and donated over 2 million bottles of hand sanitiser to Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Rescue Services and the NHS.

Liam, from Collyhurst, said: “When I was in school, I used to work on Harpurhey market stall with my mum during the holidays. I loved it – that was just the start for me. I went on to launch a number of ventures and social enterprises, some did better than others, but you learn a lot along the way.

“During difficult times like we’re going through now it’s about us all sticking together and doing what’s right. Hopefully when we come out the other side of this we’ll live in a much better society, and that includes giving young people the support and encouragement to grow a business.”

Having started out with no prior business training, Karina Jadhav has gone from a stall at Manchester’s Food & Drink Festival to creating one of Greater Manchester’s most talked about dining experiences.

Since opening Menagerie in 2016, the restaurant has garnered international attention for hosting a roster of celebrities including Justin Timberlake and Drake, and other stars such as Professor Green, Louisa Johnson & YXNG Bane have all performed there.

Karina, who will talk about the challenges of running a business and the skills you need, said:

“When I first started out, I had no formal business education, I learnt on the job. There are always bumps in the road I don’t believe anything worth doing happens in a straight line but it’s how you overcome the hurdles that make or break you.

“There is always a solution to whatever problem you face. Having confidence in your own abilities and silencing negative commentary from others is invaluable – I always try to build a picture in my mind of my desired outcome and how it looks to me.”

Our Pass was launched as a two-year pilot in September 2019, and – recognising the disruption to the pilot caused by the pandemic – it has been extended by another year as part of the Mayor’s 2021/22 budget. Designed by and made for young people, more than 70,000 cards have been issued since the scheme began. Eligibility was extended last year to include care leavers, up to the age of 21, with over 300 cards issued so far.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who will launch the event, said:

“Our Pass plays an important role in supporting the Young Person’s Guarantee that we established in response to the ongoing struggles the coronavirus pandemic was having on young people across Greater Manchester.

“Throughout this pandemic our business community has stepped up to support and help in our commitment to make sure that no young person in Greater Manchester is left behind. It’s great to have both Liam and Karina taking part and sharing their experience with Our Pass members tonight.”

‘Surviving Dragons’ Den’ is the second in a series of ‘Show Me The Money’ online events created by Our Pass with OpenMoney. Anthony Morrow worked as a consultant for multinational business consultancies like KPMG and Deloitte, before co-founding OpenMoney with Duncan Cameron in Manchester in 2017.

OpenMoney Co-Founder Anthony Morrow said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Our Pass and supporting young people in such a crucial stage of their lives as part of the ‘Show Me The Money’ series. OpenMoney’s mission is to make financial advice accessible and affordable to everyone and help people to make the most out of their money.

“That’s why we’re also really pleased be producing a series of free ‘How To’ guides for Our Pass members to support this series of events and educate Greater Manchester’s young people on different areas of financial and working life.”

The only scheme of its kind in the UK, Our Pass supports young people at a crucial moment in their lives. For a one-off £10 administration fee, young people who have just left school get two key things: free travel on buses across Greater Manchester, making getting to college, training or into work possible. And exclusive offers and experiences that range from retail discounts and event tickets to careers talks, tasters and workshops.

What is Our Pass?

Our Pass is a membership scheme for young people who live in Greater Manchester, and supports both school leavers and care leavers.

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