Dragon’s Den style challenge helps teenagers raise £1,000 for charity

Pitching to a panel of Anesco ‘dragons’ to convince them to invest in a charity project was the challenge recently faced by a group of local teenagers.
The 30 young people, aged 16 and 17 years old, called upon all of their powers of persuasion and communication to successfully present their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style boardroom pitch.
After splitting into two teams, each representing a different charity, the aim of the challenge was for the young people to use their skills to secure a £50 donation.
The event was organised by charity Groundwork South, with the support of Reading-based energy efficiency solutions company Anesco. It forms part of a series of activities taking place as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, an initiative set up by the Government to help young people develop new skills and experience that will stand them in good stead for the future.
Ahead of the pitch, volunteers from Anesco worked with the two groups to help them prepare and plan their presentations. The young people then faced a grilling in the den by senior managers, including Anesco CEO Adrian Pike, on every aspect of their pitch, from strategy to budget and local need.
Participant James Jackman commented: “It was a great day, I really enjoyed it. They all welcomed us with open arms. I’m really glad I came along, I had a brilliant time.”
Poppy Horsman, project assistant at Groundwork South, said: “It was great having the support of Anesco, which helped make the pitching experience so much more exciting for our young people. They have gained valuable skills and experience in negotiation, as well public speaking and budgeting, all while having fun. Both teams were successful in securing £50 for their project, which in turn has been used to help raise over £1,000 for charity – a fantastic result and one which will make a real difference.”
The team at Anesco also took a lot from the experience. “We were very impressed by both groups and all their ideas and enthusiasm. They had really done their research and thought about their arguments and the best way to get their points across,” explained Adrian Pike, Anesco CEO.
“As a company, we are proud to be actively working with local schools, colleges and organisations like Groundwork to encourage and support the next generation. It was our pleasure to take part in this scheme and meet the young people who will be the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future.”
Anesco works with businesses, housing associations, local authorities and homeowners to reduce their carbon emissions. After achieving growth of 267%, Anesco was named the UK’s fastest growing private company in 2013 and has been recognised as one of the top 100 cleantechs in the world.


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