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New start-ups to face local Dragons' Den?

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MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers money could be invested in Jersey companies through a 'Dragons' Den'-style fund.

Plans for a £5 million 'Innovation Fund' that will support businesses with grants and loans are going to the States for debate soon, meaning the States could buy a stake in a company in return for investment, much like the BBC programme Dragons' Den.

But Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean says that there are plans to add a further £5 million to that fund next year, and to give the States the option of taking a stake in a company, as well as one-off grants and repayable loans.

Senator Maclean has been working with Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf on the rules for the Innovation Fund, which will see applications reviewed by departments, before an expert board assesses them and gives a recommendation on whether they should be supported or not.

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