Nine budding entrepreneurs who won funding for their businesses in our Dacorum's Den competition have been recognised at an awards ceremony.
The businesses attended a celebratory lunch at Maylands Business Park on Friday 28 July.
Inspired by the Dragons' Den TV show, the competition is now in its sixth year and has invested £50,000 in business growth and created 35 jobs since it was launched.
This year, the judges were so impressed by the community aspect of two businesses they decided to double the prize for them to £2,000.
Emerald Kitty Entertainment, who organise cabaret pop-up shows, and the Fishery Wharf Café in Boxmoor were both given the top prize money.
A further £1,000 was awarded to:
- Abbelle, Hemel Hempstead Old Town
- Audition Oracle, Tring
- Elementary Skin and Body, Tring
- MRO Accounts, Hemel Hempstead
- Gilded Bee, Tring
- The Tyre Changers, Tring
- Wildwood Studio, Chipperfield
Judge and Hemel Hempstead MP, Mike Penning, said: "As well as the grant, the winners also receive one year's free membership of Connect Dacorum and Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors."
Cllr Graham Sutton, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, said: "I'd like to thank the sponsors and judges of this year's Dacorum's Den for their valuable support. Over the years many small businesses have benefitted from these awards, which have helped them to move forward. I'd also like to thank all those who applied - it seems to grow year after year, filling me with confidence that Dacorum has a magnificent commercial future."
And a big thanks to all of this year's sponsors on the judging panel: Alan Butchers from McDonald's, John Ellison from JE2, Alison Murray from Abode Bed, and additional sponsors Gyron and Haspineall Collins.