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Students to enter Cowichan's version of the Dragon's Den

Cowichan's own version of the Dragon's Den is being unleashed to give young entrepreneurs a fun contest to test their business ideas and savvy.

Community Futures Cowichan and Cowichan Secondary School have teamed up for a variation of the popular TV program.

Community Futures launched the idea as a means of putting students on a career path of entrepreneurship and to connect them with local business.

"The ultimate goal is to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of Cowichan teens by providing them with the opportunity to be hands-on with their business skills and ideas in a fun and interactive format,'' Community Futures Cowichan General Manager Cathy Robertson noted in a media release.

The contest will officially start Feb. 6 at Cowichan Secondary School.

Teams will compete in a three-step process, demonstrating their skills in key areas of product/service development, marketing and finance.

A winning team will be determined by the judges and receive a grand prize in late May.

There will be additional prizes along the way.

"And it's not only prizes the students receive,'' noted Robertson. "Many local business people will be helping out as both mentors and judges. The mentors will be available to teams to provide advice and guidance for each of the major tasks. The judges will provide that helpful feedback so the students can make changes and improvements.

"By offering this type of real-life learning experience the hope is a few students will aspire to become the future business owners of our favourite local businesses,'' Robertson added.

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