Dacorum Borough Council has awarded £10,000 in grant funding to the borough's businesses that dared to step into Dacorum's Den.

Ten companies pitched to a panel of judges which included the RT Hon Sir Mike Penning MP.

Six were awarded grants of between £1,500 and £2,000 to help them develop a business idea. These were:


VAP Games

VAP games, run by Jacqui Gahan, is a games company specialising in combining virtual/digital gaming with traditional board and card games. The idea is to modernise the family gaming concept with the incorporation of current technology and social media trends. The grant will be used to fund a video marketing campaign – using another winner, Big Head Content, to shoot the video.


Big Head Content

Big Head Content was created to help clients craft innovative and engaging video content to market their business. The company designs and produces videos to enable organisations to increase sales, brand awareness, product explanation or internal communications in an effective and memorable way. The grant will be used to help purchase a second iMac with the aim of doubling productivity, so they can serve more clients.  


Castaway Cottage

This independent family owned and run company produces hand-made bath bombs, wax melts, candles and soaps.  The grant will enable the purchase of a bath bomb press which will aid faster productivity to meet growing demand.


The Home County Candle Company

This home fragrance brand features a range of hand-poured, scented soy candles and reed diffusers. Inspired by the Home County it is named after, each collection has its own unique fragrance, for example the Hertfordshire range is scented with woodland bluebells and jasmine. Using the grant to purchase a specialised wax melter will increase manufacturing capabilities.  


Phoenix Entertainment

Phoenix Entertainment provide bespoke entertainment packages for the community and corporate sector.  Acts include fire shows, stilt walking, magical costumes and themed characters, bringing life to events in a family-friendly way. The grant will be used to bring their offering right up-to-date with the purchase of two pairs of Pixel Poi LED that display customisable graphics.


Song Writing 4 Kids

This online music education tool run by Ruth Seodi from Berkhamsted is for children aged between 8-13 years. It teaches music symbols, notes and song lyrics. The grant will be used to improve online presence through the website and social media.

The Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP said: “I look forward every year to listening to the fantastic ideas that the entrepreneurs of Dacorum bring to us. The diversity and commitment of the bids show why this country has so many successful SME’s.  I am very proud that Dacorum is leading in the way.”

The event was sponsored by Abodebed, Sopra Steria, Epson and Dacorum Borough Council. The panel of judges was made up of representatives from these organisations.