College pupils pitch business idea to royalty

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

PITCHING a business idea to a ‘dragon’ from the popular BBC show would be a daunting enough experience but two Lurgan College pupils can say that they’ve gone a step further by showcasing what they have to offer to royalty.

The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, was visiting the Titanic Quarter last week to meet with young entrepreneurs in business and at school.

Lurgan College pupils, Sarah Castles and Jessica Gracey, outlined their proposed business idea for ‘All Dolled Up’.

They told him it had been their passion since they were young children as they were frustrated by the lack of choice of dolls on the market.

Prince Andrew listened intently and then questioned the pair, who are both studying Business Studies at A Level, about their plans for the business.

The girls said it was an honour to meet His Royal Highness.

Jessica said: “It’s not everyday that you get to pitch your business idea to a prince.”

Sarah added: “We weren’t able to persuade him to part with any of his royal money so if anyone wants to invest in a business of the future please get in touch!”

The girls’ teacher, Mr Alan Reavie, said it was an unexpected privilege and gave an opportunity for the girls to meet not only the prince but also other entrepreneurs who had started up their own businesses.

“Some of the businesses were world class with regard to innovation and design and it is important that young people see entrepreneurship as a credible career path,” he said.

The Duke of York was visiting the spot where the Titanic was built during a tour in Belfast.

He viewed the cavernous dry dock in which the liner, which sank with the loss of more than 1,000 people, was prepared for sea.

The Duke also went to the pumphouse which operated the dock.

As well he visited the nearby Northern Ireland Science Park and innovation centre for a short overview.

The park was established in 1999 as an internationally-recognised knowledge-based centre to encourage new businesses.