Step into the dragons’ lair

The BBC is offering entrepreneurs across the country an opportunity to make that special business idea come true or for national, televised humiliation as the broadcaster seeks applicants for the fourth series of the show, Dragons' Den.

In the last series, the most successful entrepreneur seeking financing was Ian Chamings who secured investment of £50,000 when he convinced the Dragons that his piece of mixing software was set to revolutionise dance music downloads.

If a budding entrepreneur is genuinely serious about his or her pitch, the BBC asks applicants with ideas, businesses and products to be clear in their minds about meeting some or all of the following criteria:

  • The unique selling point: a product that serves a need like nothing else;
  • Scalability: something that can be scaled-up to make real money;
  • Route to market: the clear way the product can be sold and marketed;
  • Mutually beneficial arrangement: just what will the Dragons get out of it?; and
  • Exit strategy: a plan of how the entrepreneur/Dragon will exit and make money.

The broadcaster notes some of those candidates who failed in their pitch did go on to successfully gain financing from other quarters, such as Anneliese Pritchard and her Nitty Gritty guide to Bristol and Jacqueline Edward who is in discussions to supply her disposable toilet seat covers throughout the UK.

If you would like an application form please send an e-mail to or visit

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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Dragons' Den