By Daniel Hunter
School children across England are called on to unleash their entrepreneurial potential by entering Tycoon in Schools 2013 — the national enterprise competition spearheaded by entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones CBE.
Now in its second year, the competition has received backing from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with a funding injection of £50,000 tohelp rollout the campaign and encourage more school children to take part.
Run by the Peter Jones Foundation, the campaign challenges school children to start a business and make as much profit as they can within one month of trading, for the chance to be crowned the Ultimate Tycoon in Schools.
Secondary schools are now being invited to register online their interest in taking part. Pupils will pitch their business ideas to their tutors, who will submit thebest business plans to the Peter Jones Foundation in the hope of being granted seed funding to launch the ventures. Trading kicks off on Monday 4th November for a four-week period, with the overall Tycoon in Schools winner being announced in January 2014.
Over 500 children and 100 teams competed last year with business concepts ranging from a cure for arthritis in horses, to solar paneled phone socks for charging mobile phones.
The awards ceremony was held at Buckingham Palace in January, hosted by HRH The Duke of York, KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation. At the ceremony, Eleanor Bullough, 14, from Da Vinci School in Stevenage was crowned the Ultimate Tycoon in Schools for her business Boo’s Bits & Bobs. She was awarded £1,000 to invest in her eco-friendly shop, which sells colourful paper garlands made from handmade, renewable mulberry paper.
Prizes were also awarded to outstanding teams for community engagement, achievement, sustainability and business concept.
Peter Jones CBE said: “Last year’s Tycoon in Schools competition was a huge success, and I am more determined than ever to ensure that enterprise and entrepreneurship remains a key focus of Britain’s education system.
“I was thrilled with how many teams got involved last year and hugely impressed by their enthusiasm throughout the competition — I can’t wait to see the new businesses and young entrepreneurial talent that emerges this year.
“It’s fantastic that Tycoon in Schools has received support from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the competition is set to be even bigger and better this year.”
Business and Energy Minister, Michael Fallon MP said: “It’s important that young people gain first hand business experience to help them understand what it means to run a business and the skills needed to do it successfully.
“Initiatives like 'Tycoons in Schools' support the Government’s drive to build a culture of enterprise. This scheme will inspire a new generation to start their own business and encourage them to consider entrepreneurship as a career option.”
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