Pupils are the business.
Teams from The Hermitage School and Roseberry Sports and Community College, both in Chester-le-Street, were challenged to come up with business plans.
Firstly, the pupils put their ideas to the test by trading with the general public at Chester-le-Street's marketplace last month.
They were then grilled by a Dragon's Den-style panel of judges. The judges included Roy Templeman, chief executive of Chester-le-Street District Council, leader of the council Coun Linda Ebbatson and David Harker, chief executive of Durham County Cricket Club.
Jenny Johns, the council's economic development officer, said: "We were really impressed with the teams."