Entrepreneurial Brother and Sister Scoop Prize in Dragon’s Den-style Competition

Krystian and Natalia Burzawa
Krystian and Natalia Burzawa scooped the top prize of £3,500 in a Dragon’s Den-style competition to help launch their new sustainable business.

Natalia and Krystian Burzawa, who are both studying at the University of Worcester’s Business School, pitched their idea - to collect off-cuts from UK denim manufactures and charities and turn them in to new products - to a panel of distinguished business leaders.

The WBS (Worcester Business School) BOSS competition was sponsored by Milford Research & Consultancy Limited and saw several groups of students pitching their business ideas, each hoping to win the £3,500 top prize. The runner-up received £1,500.

Natalia said: “The idea we presented was, 'Denim-Mined' - a brand that collects off-cut denim material from UK denim manufactures and charities to renew it. The renewed material will be cut and designed into templates to sew together by the customer.

“Essentially, the customer receives a denim kit to craft at home as Denim-Mined provides the material, needle, thread and instructions. This is an ideal educational product not only for schools across the UK, but families wanting to spend quality time with children as well as an ideal gift for someone. It also benefits the environment as it reduces pollution caused by clothes ending up in landfills.”

Natalia and Krystian, who live in Bishops Frome, are both studying Business Management, and said they were excited to win the competition: “Presenting in front of a number of business leaders was stressful, but we knew we had to give our best presentation for it to have an impact,” they said. “We thought it would be more difficult to present together as we haven't worked on a project like this before, but fortunately we had no issues which motivated us on delivering a good quality presentation.

“We were so thrilled to win and couldn't believe it at first, it was an achievement we always hoped for. We were so excited to know our idea was recognised and that it has the potential of being successful. It was just so exciting, and we are so grateful for all the feedback received as well as for the investment.”

The pair are hoping that the investment will cover the costs of machinery for washing used denim, website development, registering the business and marketing. They have already started to develop social media accounts and a logo.

“We also want to do more research for the idea to ensure we have enough knowledge to proceed further with it and are also looking at what help we can get to understand the process of setting up a business,” Krystian said.

WBS BOSS finalists and judges

This is the second year the WBS BOSS Competition has run and organisers are hoping it will be even bigger next year.

Dr Abdulmaten Taroun, Head of Department of Management and Finance in the University’s Business School, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to work with Rob Milford and the BOSS team again this year. I was very proud of the presentations delivered at the finale. It is quite fulfilling to see our students able to come up with credible business ideas and to show their professionalism and confidence in debating them with business leaders.

“We are very keen to offer our students the best possible learning experience and to strengthen our relationship with the business community around us. This project is an example of our commitment to sustainability, raising aspirations, creating opportunities and giving our students the best possible start for their professional life.”