Enter the Dragons’ Pen

Their competition, Enter the Dragons’ Pen, will offer 18 to 24-year-olds with a passion for food and drink and a nose for a good idea the chance to win a cash prize of £5,000 plus a year of mentoring and support – helping them to get their business idea off the page and onto the shelf.    The Keeble husband-and-wife team set up their business in 1999 after 20 years of pig industry experience. Having started Debbie & Andrew’s in a North Yorkshire farm kitchen on the back of a credit card loan, their sausage firm is set to hit the £20m-turnover mark within the next three years following a deal with Diageo to make a food range infused with Guinness beer. Their brand is currently the third largest in the overall sausage market.

Candidates aged 18-24 should enter online at: www.enterthedragonspen.co.uk before Friday October 30, 2009.  A shortlist of young entrepreneurs will be selected to have their ideas judged by a range of celebrity judges and high-profile business personalities. Alongside Andrew and Debbie Keeble will be:

* Nigel Barden, BBC TV and radio food and drink broadcaster who regularly appears on BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans drive-time show.* Henrietta Green, author, food writer, boss of www.foodloversbritain.com, regional food expert with a regular column in BBC Good Food magazine and a judge for ITV’s Taste the Nation.* Adam Leyland, former Real Business editor and current editor of The Grocer, a weekly trade publication for the food, drink and grocery retailing market. * Nick Beart, business growth and turnaround specialist, who has helped improve the fortunes of New Covent Garden Soup Company, Green & Black’s and Boden. * Andy Lynes, Glenfiddich Award nominated freelance writer specialising in food, drink and travel and ex-BBC Masterchef semi-finalist.

Final judging will take place at the BBC Good Food Show, NEC, Birmingham, on Wednesday November 25, 2009 in front of a live audience.   Related articles:FSA slams organic food mythsGuy Tullberg: "The big multiples are a graveyard for products"

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