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Ipswich: Entrepreneur Christine Bardwell shortlisted in’Dragon’s Den-style’ national competition

PUBLISHED: 16:18 03 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:38 03 April 2014

Businesswoman Christine Bardwell of bagthebag

Businesswoman Christine Bardwell of bagthebag

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Online retailer bagthebag.com could be in line for a £150,000 investment

An Ipswich online entrepreneur, Christine Bardwell is bidding for an investment boost on Friday in a national competition.

Out of around 1,000 entries her start-up business has been shortlisted and will be judged in a Dragons’ Den style final.

Her business, bagthebag.com, is one of 10 businesses shortlisted in the prestigious Worth Foundation competition – the largest crowd-funded fund ever*.

Run by the experts at Worth Retail and a panel comprised of some of the UK’s top entrepreneurs, the Worth Foundation fund has been scouring the nation to find a retail start-up with a big idea that will get people up and down the UK reaching for their wallets. Online retailer, bagthebag.com was selected out of the nearly 1,000 firms who applied.

The only retail specific competition of its kind, the competition used the equity crowdfunding website Seedrs to secure a record- breaking £300,000 investment pot, with funding from 259 investors from 11 countries around the world – with £150,000 available for the winner and £75,000 for two runners up, as well as expert mentoring from Alex Johns and Paul Soanes, the founders and managing partners of Worth Retail, which has previously worked with brands such as Maybelline and the BBC.

bagthebag.com which sells handbags, kids bags and luggage online, was founded by retail expert Christine Bardwell.

Running her business - with a little help from her mum Marilyn and her sister Susan - between bases in Ipswich and London, she aims to make bagthebag.com the largest online seller of bags in the UK, and ultimately the world.

Christine will attend a pitching day at London’s Hospital Club on Friday and present their ideas to the expert judging panel, which is comprised of top UK entrepreneurs: Roger Wade of Boxpark, Jeff Lynn of Seedrs and Michael Acton Smith of Mind Candy’

Christine said: “I was over the moon to hear that I’d won a place in the Worth Foundation final. I’m excited about the judging day, and look forward to getting the panel as excited about bagthebag.com as I am!”

Alex Johns, managing partner of Worth Retail added: “bagthebag.com was up against some very stiff competition, but we were really impressed by Christine’s ideas. We’re confident that the business has huge potential, and we’re looking forward to hearing more about it on the judging day”

*Investors have invested in a fund which will be awarded to as yet unidentified talent, as opposed to investing in a known business.

For information about the Worth Foundation competition visit: http://worthretail.com/foundation/

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