ENTREPRENEURS have been put through their paces in a Dragon’s Den event at Oxford Brookes University.

Students and staff pitched their business ideas in front of Olympic Gold medallist rower Katherine Grainger to win funding as part of the Oxford Brookes University Social Entrepreneur Awards (OBSEA).

Projects secured £23,000 from the event to support individuals making a social impact in business.

Education and outreach officer Jordon Maynard-Daley, 32, won £5,000 to help support his fledgling business The Arts Excite.

Mr Maynard-Daley said: “It feels exhilarating to have won this award, it will dramatically help my social enterprise get off the ground.

“With this grant I feel that there is wind beneath the project’s wings and from now on it’s only going to fly and reach new heights.”

The Arts Excite (theartsexcite.org) is a platform for talented, disadvantaged young people to express themselves and bring about positive change in their communities.

Mr Maynard-Daley ran a pilot project last summer and has since received funding from Arts England.

Other winners were Mona Sakr, from The Knowledge Project, Glenda Huish from the Bramble Verbiage and Danny Newcombe and Will Roberts from Boing.

The project’s theme was From Passion to Action and is part of a £2m higher education initiative funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

OBSEA programme leader Roberto Daniele said: “Oxford Brookes has a key role in supporting these developing social entrepreneurs, who will hopefully go on to become future change-makers in Oxford, the UK, or potentially across the world.”