A STAR of TV’s Dragon’s Den will be coming to Bournemouth to headline a day-long summit for start-up businesses.

Piers Linney, who has appeared on the BBC Two hit and Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire, said he would be focusing on sharing “straight-forward advice”.

The Lancashire-born businessman has been named one of the top 100 most influential black Britons and won the inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year title at the Black British Business Awards. He was also recognised as one of the UK’s top 20 ethnic minority executives in the Financial Times/EM Power List earlier this year.

He will be speaking at the Screw It, Just Do It! StartUp & Scale summit, to be held at THIS Workspace in the Daily Echo building in Bournemouth, on Saturday, October 13.

Mr Linney told the Daily Echo he would be focusing on how small businesses could “scale up”.

“If you do go for growth, there’s a huge amount of pressure that’s put upon you, especially in this country,” he said.

“Although there’s more and more finance available to lend, entrepreneurs are not asking for it because they’re nervous, scared, they think they’re going to lose control and men in suits are going to take their business off them.”

He added: “I’ve been the entrepreneur asking for money, I’ve been the fund manager providing the capital and I’ve been the adviser advising the entrepreneur on how to get the capital. I’ve been on all three sides.

“I’ve raised money successfully and I’ve lost money.

“There’s no point standing in front of entrepreneurs telling them that they’re going to be the next great thing. The world doesn’t owe them a living. It’s hard work.”

He added: “I think what people need in this kind of growth area is just honest, straightforward, no-BS advice. If you had an uncle in business, you’d trust him and he would talk about his experience.”

He said start-ups were vital to the economy. “Whatever happens with Brexit, these businesses are the future,” he added.

The summit event will be a day of interviews, workshops and masterclasses.

Alex Chisnall, business adviser with Virgin StartUp, said: “The combination of selling out every one of our 2018 monthly start-up events, plus the recent survey by DueDil highlighting Bournemouth as the second fastest-growing area for start-ups in the UK, led me to launch the South-West’s first-ever StartUp & Scale summit this October 13 at THIS Workspace.

“I am overjoyed to bring a keynote speaker of the calibre of Piers Linney to headline our day-long event. Bournemouth’s community of entrepreneurs and small business owners haven’t had the opportunity to ask someone of Piers’ experience and success their own questions before and I can’t wait to hear him speak and answer their questions myself.

“The combination of both national and local speakers with masterclasses focused on the different segments of running a business, plus numerous opportunities to connect with both our speakers and like-minded entrepreneurs throughout the day, should ensure we’re giving Bournemouth’s start-up community what they need to stay in the area and scale-up their business.”

Other speakers are: Cemal Ezel, founder of social enterprise Change Please; Kris Gumbrell, co-founder of Brewhouse & Kitchen; Soumyadip Rakshit, co-founder of Mystery Vibe; Lucienne Elms, founder of Horsescout; Megan Fairhall, of Live To Smile; Erin Thomas-Wong, founder of Making Mumpreneurs; and Olivia Spencer-Perkins of Lady Industry.

Details of the event are at bit.ly/2JDgVIv