BRIGHOUSE entrepreneur Tom Stevenson has lunched with Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones – to get some top tips on running his business.
Tom was invited to the Royal Exchange in London to lunch with Peter, who is chairman of Enterprise UK, and Maggie Choo, director of Alibaba.com, the online marketplace for small and medium-sized firms.
The two-hour lunch date was Tom’s prize for being a finalist in Alibaba.com’s Global Startup Challenge. Seven finalists were chosen from hundreds of entrants in the competition to build a business from a £1,000 budget provided by Alibaba.com.
The contestants gathered together to discuss with Maggie and Peter how to move their fledgling businesses forward.
Peter said he was impressed with the wealth of talent he encountered. “In order to achieve success in business, entrepreneurs must be hardworking, enthusiastic, creative and driven,” he said. “Once you have a good idea, it’s important to drive it forward as hard as you can.
“I’m delighted to spend a couple of hours brainstorming with Tom on how to build on the foundation that the Global Startup Challenge has provided.
“I have always been passionate about nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. From my experiences as an investor and through launching my own National Enterprise Academy in 2009, I have been hugely encouraged by the quality of entrepreneur our country is capable of producing.”
Tom said: “The chance to spend time with a business guru like Peter has been the highlight of the competition for me.
“It has been such a privilege to get his take on my business and run some ideas for future development past him. I’m really excited about taking the business forward in the coming months and achieving further success.”
Tom really made the competition sizzle with his plans to make the humble barbecue an integral part of Christmas. Having enjoyed two barbecued turkeys as part of previous festive feasts, Tom is convinced he can elevate the summer favourite to a year-round culinary delight.
He has now set up website – www.baregrills.co.uk – to provide hints, tips and accessories for Christmas barbecues.