Dragons’ Den Peter Jones invests �100k in former South Hampstead High School girl

When Dupsy Abiola walked down that spiral staircase on the BBC series Dragons’ Den she knew the stakes were high.

The former South Hampstead High School girl had to perform the best pitch of her life after ditching her high-flying career as an employment barrister to set up her own intern recruitment company.

But the 30-year-old, who grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb, need not have worried after she wowed the dragons and chose to accept an investment of �100,000 from businessman Peter Jones on Sunday night (October 7).

“I was over the moon Peter Jones wanted to invest in Intern Avenue and that he believed in the company’s vision,” said Miss Abiola.

“I spent a really long time, practising and preparing. I felt it was the culmination of a lot of work I had put in.”

Intern Avenue is an online meeting place where students and graduates can be matched directly with suitable employers.

Prospective interns create profiles which employers can view to find out the skills of each individual.

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The system uses a careful process to select and filter the best candidates automatically, resulting in no administration time for the employer.

“It is a really fast and easy way for employers to find high quality interns especially students and graduates,” Miss Abiola said.

“Most employers want young people to have undergone an internship or placement before hiring them. Often students and graduates are turned down because they don’t have any work experience.”

Miss Abiola, who now lives in Marylebone, studied law at Oxford University and went on to work for prestigious legal firm Fishburns Solicitors before setting up Intern Avenue in September 2010.

Speaking after investing in the business, businessman Peter Jones said: “It was a very good pitch. I really took to her.

“She was well studied and well focused. She had looked at how the business could grow.

“She was fairly financially stable and had a great vision for the future. All those things together, you have a real entrepreneur in the making.”

To find out more about Intern Avenue visit www.internavenue.com