Ann Graham from Crumlin was one of seven entrepreneurial students to reach the final of a Dragon’s Den style competition for her mental health therapy business idea.
The Belfast Metropolitan College student, who is currently studying Access Biomedical Studies, pitched her future venture to the Business Launchpad panel of judges during a live final held in the College’s new e3 building in the Springfield Campus.
Ann’s idea to use equine therapy to treat mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression secured her a place in the final.
The therapy treatment uses horses to build confidence, communication, trust, perspective, social skills and boundaries for individuals with mental health conditions. It is based on a successful treatment model that has been successfully pioneered in the United States.
Ann said: “Business Launchpad really appealed to me because it gave me relevant and real experience in progressing a business idea from conception to launch, allowing me not only to learn about business planning, but also try my hand at real experience opportunities like the live pitching to local entrepreneurs.
“It has given me a real sense of what it would be like to set up my own business and introduced me to some valid routes to success. I am delighted to have made it to the finals of the live pitch at Belfast Met as it is a great way to top off a fantastic few months.”
Siobhan Lyons, Head of Development at Belfast Metropolitan College, congratulated the winners: “We would like to congratulate all of the Business Launchpad participants, particularly the finalists who took part in the live pitching event. The calibre of entries into the inaugural programme has been phenomenal.
“It is inspiring to see young people turn their business dreams into a career reality. We hope that participation in this project will encourage students to take up the challenge of setting up their own business, thereby providing innovative ideas and commerce for the local economy in Northern Ireland.”