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Dee braves the Den once again

An ambitious entrepreneur who impressed judges on the first season of RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den was back on television screens again this Easter Sunday.
Whitegate’s Deirdre Collins who created the Dee’s Eat Well, Be Happy range of wholefood burgers featured in the upcoming Dragons’ Den on Tour series.
As part of the programme’s 2011 line-up, show producers are highlighting some of the most successful businesses that emerged from the first two series of RTÉ Dragons’ Den.
The new programme saw Deirdre offer inspiration and advice to the next wave of self-starting entrepreneurs who are keen to follow in her footsteps by pursuing their own unique business ideas.
Deirdre says being back on the show was both an enjoyable and useful experience, “It’s difficult to believe that just over one year ago I was standing in front of the dragons ‘pitching’ my business concept and outlining my vision for expanding the company. It’s been an exciting few years since then and it’s genuinely been full steam ahead for the company and our brand.
“Being back in front of the camera, explaining how my business has developed, gave me a useful opportunity to take stock and appreciate how Dee’s Eat Well, Be Happy has grown from being a small start-up to a fully-fledged food business. Growing a start-up company is never an easy task – hopefully, I’ve been able to offer inspiration and some useful advice to the next wave of entrepreneurs who are embarking on what is often a challenging career path”.
Widely-recognised as being one of the most successful business ideas showcased on the 2009 season of Dragons’ Den, Dee’s Eat Well, Be Happy range has been steadily growing in popularity among a diverse customer base and is now stocked in over 200 Irish retail outlets.
Deirdre says in order to make it as an entrepreneur it’s all down to getting the right guidance and advice from experts who know their stuff.
“I’d urge anyone starting a business to seek out the best advice from the very early stages. Niall O’Farrell has been an excellent mentor. I’ve also received amazing advice and support from Bord Bia and Bullseye Food Marketing. There are brilliant support structures available for Irish SMEs – both in the form of state structures and commercial consultants and advisors. Whether it’s your local County Enterprise Board or the Irish Exporters’ Association, there’s plenty of help available for ambitious entrepreneurs who have the right business idea” she concluded.
For more information visit www.dees.ie or visit www.facebook.com/MeatFreeMondays.

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