SURVIVING DRAGONS’ DEN: HOW TO BECOME A GREATER MANCHESTER ENTREPRENEUR
Young people can learn how to survive Dragons’ Den and become a Greater Manchester
entrepreneur in the second of a series of ‘Show Me The Money’ skills talks.
Guest speakers Liam Manton and Karina Jadhav, who both started out on market stalls, are now two
of the city-region’s most successful young entrepreneurs.
The event live on Zoom, on Tuesday February 23, from 7pm, will dive into the world of great ideas,
side-hustles and setting up your own business. It aims to give young people the lowdown on how to
take their business idea to the next level.
Liam Manton has enjoyed great success with friend and business partner Mark Smallwood since they
launched Didsbury Gin in 2017. The pair scooped a £75,000 investment on Dragons’ Den after
impressing fellow Mancunian Jenny Campbell. During the pandemic their company has also
produced and donated over 2 million bottles of hand sanitiser to Greater Manchester Police, Fire
and Rescue Services and the NHS.
Liam, from Collyhurst, said: “When I was in school, I used to work on Harpurhey market stall with
my mum during the holidays. I loved it – that was just the start for me. I went on to launch a number
of ventures and social enterprises, some did better than others, but you learn a lot along the way.
“During difficult times like we’re going through now it’s about us all sticking together and doing
what’s right. Hopefully when we come out the other side of this we’ll live in a much better society,
and that includes giving young people the support and encouragement to grow a business.”
Having started out with no prior business training, Karina Jadhav has gone from a stall at
Manchester’s Food & Drink Festival to creating one of Greater Manchester’s most talked about
Since opening Menagerie in 2016, the restaurant has garnered international attention for hosting a
roster of celebrities including Justin Timberlake and Drake, and other stars such as Professor Green,
Louisa Johnson & YXNG Bane have all performed there.
Karina, who will talk about the challenges of running a business and the skills you need, said:
“When I first started out, I had no formal business education, I learnt on the job. There are always
bumps in the road I don’t believe anything worth doing happens in a straight line but it’s how you
overcome the hurdles that make or break you.
“There is always a solution to whatever problem you face. Having confidence in your own abilities
and silencing negative commentary from others is invaluable – I always try to build a picture in my
mind of my desired outcome and how it looks to me.”
Our Pass was launched as a two-year pilot in September 2019, and – recognising the disruption to
the pilot caused by the pandemic – it has been extended by another year as part of the Mayor’s
2021/22 budget. Designed by and made for young people, more than 70,000 cards have been issued
since the scheme began. Eligibility was extended last year to include care leavers, up to the age of
21, with over 300 cards issued so far.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who will launch the event, said:
“Our Pass plays an important role in supporting the Young Person’s Guarantee that we established in
response to the ongoing struggles the coronavirus pandemic was having on young people across
“Throughout this pandemic our business community has stepped up to support and help in our
commitment to make sure that no young person in Greater Manchester is left behind. It’s great to
have both Liam and Karina taking part and sharing their experience with Our Pass members tonight.”
‘Surviving Dragons’ Den’ is the second in a series of ‘Show Me The Money’ online events created by
Our Pass with OpenMoney. Anthony Morrow worked as a consultant for multinational business
consultancies like KPMG and Deloitte, before co-founding OpenMoney with Duncan Cameron in
Manchester in 2017.