Francophone entrepreneurs on P.E.I. are being invited into a Dragons’ Den-like contest.

Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE) Canada is putting on a contest based on the CBC Television show Dragons’ Den where entrepreneurs pitch their idea for a business or product to a panel of potential investors.  

Staff at RDÉE will help french entrepreneurs, ages 18 to 39 years old, prepare their business pitches before they go before the local judges.

Stéphane Blanchard is the event coordinator:

“Hopefully we'll be surprised by this. We're hoping — it's wide open, meaning it can be a product or it can also be a service.  Any business idea is a good idea. If nothing else, you would certainly gain some experience in to what is expected when you want to start a business."

Finalists may qualify for a low-interest loan of up to $45,000.    

The contest will be held over three nights in February, March and April, with a final in May.    

RDÉE is hoping for at least a dozen entries.    

All contestants will get a free course from Collège Acadie, and a free membership to P.E.I.'s Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce.

RDÉE Canada is a national francophone economic development council that helps francophone and Acadian communities with economic development.

There are about 5,000 francophones on P.E.I.