A DRIVING instructor is on the road to success after appearing before millions of TV viewers on Dragons’ Den.
Craig Ramshaw, from Seaburn, was praised by the panel when he featured as a contestant on the popular BBC2 show.
Despite failing to attract their support for his firm, which specialises in driving lessons for teenagers, the 49-year-old was told by businesswoman Deborah Meaden that he was “making a real difference” and urged him to continue with the three-year-old driving school.
“You wouldn’t believe how nerve-wracking it was,” he said.
“There isn’t just the panel. There is the film crew, the production staff and a whole host of other people.”
However, Craig, who beat competition from thousands of other up-and-coming business people hoping to appear on the programme, said he enjoyed the experience.
“I just wrote to the BBC and put my ideas to them,” he said. “There were literally thousands of entrants in for it, so it was quite an achievement to get to appear on the show.
“I was asked down to the BBC studios at Salford and had a great time.”
Dragons’ Den, now in its tenth series, involves inventors and would-be entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to a panel of five millionaire business leaders, “The Dragons”, in order to acquire investment finance and expertise.
Before the show, the contestants name the amount of money they wish to secure.
They can get their funding from one Dragon or a combination of them.
However, they must receive all they asked for or they get nothing. In return, the Dragons get a percentage of the company’s stock.
“It was great to meet the panel and they gave me a lot of positive feedback,” said Craig.
“By and large, they were impressed with the business and what I was doing, but in the end, they decided to go with something else.”
The dad of one said the aim of the lessons was to instil safe driving practices from a younger age than is currently available in the UK.
Lessons for under-17s are delivered in a safe environment in dual-controlled cars
Craig said road deaths were the biggest killer of young people, with “lack of experience” cited as the main reason for the death toll.
“The business is going really well,” he added. “I was hoping to benefit from the panel’s contacts.
“As it is, we’re going from strength to strength, and we’ll continue to expand the business.”