Forget Dragons’ Den! Competition to find the ‘UK’s next great entrepreneur’ launches on TIK TOK where contestants can pitch their ideas via video

  • New contest to find the ‘UK’s next great entrepreneur’ launched on TikTok today 
  • Applicants must share a 30 to 60-second video pitch about their business idea
  • Winning prize is £5,000 plus mentoring, business advice and TikTok marketing
  • Competition runs until June 30 and open to anyone aged 18 or over living in UK

It doesn’t get more daunting for a budding entrepreneur than nervously stepping into the Dragons’ Den.

But a new competition launching today takes away that pressure, asking contestants to instead pitch their ideas on TikTok.

The aim of the #BeYourOwnBoss contest is to find the ‘UK’s next great entrepreneur’ and has a winning prize of £5,000. 

The victor will also get mentoring sessions from the judges, a year of financial and business advice and marketing from TikTok.

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#BeYourOwnBoss: A new competition, launching on TikTok from today, is aiming to find the ‘UK’s next great entrepreneur’. It has a winning prize of £5,000, plus mentoring and advice

Applicants must record and share a 30 to 60-second video pitch about their new business idea or existing small business by posting it on the Chinese social media platform with the hashtag #BeYourOwnBoss.

The competition runs until June 30, 2021 and is open to anyone aged 18 or over and living in the UK. 

Ten finalists will then be chosen by the judges to present their idea to the panel in more detail during a live-streamed TikTok finale. 

The winner will be announced on July 7. 

Ten finalists will then be chosen by the judges to present their idea to the panel in more detail during a live-streamed TikTok finale

TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions. 

TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.  

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.  

It offers users a raft of colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos. 

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion). 

In 2020 Donald Trump called for the US arm of TikTok to be sold to an American company over fears the China-owned app posed a national security risk. 

Talks are under way between ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart over US operations after Trump threatened a download ban in the US. 

The idea for the contest came from Simon Squibb, whose platform The Purposeful Project is designed to help 10 million people start and grow their own businesses, as well as teach entrepreneurship for free.

Mr Squibb went from being homeless at the age of 15 to a multi-millionaire aged 30, having started 18 companies and invested in more than 60 startups. 

He said: ‘Covid-19 has left a lost generation of unemployed young people in its wake, yet there is a solution: Don’t wait for a job, create one for yourself!

‘I believe anyone can learn how to start and run a business – but you need to break free from the system that teaches you a job is safe and being an entrepreneur is risky, it’s the opposite. 

‘With the right mindset, training, tools and confidence anyone can be an entrepreneur.’

Mr Squibb added: ‘With the #BeYourOwnBoss competition we’re encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to seize the moment and share their brilliant business idea so it can grow wings. 

‘What better place to do that than on TikTok, where there’s already a thriving community of creative young people sharing new ideas.’

The judges include founder and CEO of Mumsnet, Justine Roberts CBE, the founder of Gymshark, Ben Francis, and CEO and co-founder of the MoveStreets property portal app, Adam Kamani.

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that almost two-thirds of people who lost their job because of the pandemic are under 25 and that, of all 16 to 24-year-olds who are currently unemployed, 74 per cent have been out of work for at least six months.

The initiative has received support from the UK government as part of its aim to ‘build back better from the pandemic’.  

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi said: ‘How many of us have been struck out the blue with a brilliant business idea? 

‘We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a company. 

‘That’s why I’m backing the #BeYourOwnBoss competition, which seeks to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.’

For more information on the competition visit


Simon Squibb, from The Purposeful Project

  • Simon Squibb – chief purpose officer at The Purposeful Project, mentor and podcast host
  • Adam Kamani – CEO and co-founder of MoveStreets property portal app
  • Alex Depledge – CEO and co-founder of online architectural platform
  • Andrew Bloch – founder of Andrew Bloch & Associates, a consultancy specialising in the communications and marketing industry
  • Bejay Mulenga – aged 20 became the youngest person to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2016
  • Ben Francis – founder of Gymshark
  • Jess Butcher MBE – technology entrepreneur and co-founder of augmented reality firm Blippar
  • Justine Roberts CBE – founder and CEO of Mumsnet
  • Lisa Friedrich – head of SMB, EU at TikTok
  • Mark Tilbury – Businessman and finance and investment influencer
  • Max Klymenko – creative director of the Gen Z social impact agency klym&co
  • Suli Breaks – Spoken word poet

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