By Claire West

The Government is today announcing four new initiatives in a bid to help inspire, support and grow new businesses in the UK. These announcements come alongside the launch of Start-Up Britain, the ground-breaking response from the private sector to the Government’s call for an ‘enterprise-led’ recovery.

The announcements include:

- support for every school to run its own business through the Enterprise Champions Programme;

- a major roll-out of Tenner Tycoon, the successful competition owned and run by the Peter Jones Foundation which gives young people the opportunity to take forward their business ideas;

- the creation of enterprise societies in every University and most Further Education Colleges to develop students with the ambition and skills for enterprise; and

- a new online tool, the Innovation Launch Pad, enabling small businesses to pitch their ideas on how they could deliver better value for money for Government;

- the launch of Brighton Fuse, a joint initiative by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) to expand the creative, digital and IT sector in Brighton and Hove and provide business opportunities for graduates.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

"We want to transform the ambition and aspiration of young people through real business experience. To rebuild our economy and create new jobs, we need to inspire the next generation to seriously think about starting their own company.

"Through Tenner Tycoon, the Enterprise Champions Programme and enterprise societies, we will be giving young people insight into enterprise at an early age, showing them how rewarding it can be to transform your own ideas into a real business."

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

"We need to inspire young people to strike out on their own, and also give them the practical tools to help. It is vital that everyone has the opportunity to develop their ideas and learn the skills needed to succeed in business.

"Enterprise societies will be run as businesses, engaging with entrepreneurs and delivering the knowledge, networks and skills that students need to start and manage a business. We need more growing companies in this country and the Government is doing everything it can to harness the great enterprising spirit of our nation."

Peter Jones CBE, founder and Chairman of the Peter Jones Foundation said:

"I welcome the Government’s commitment to increase its focus on enterprise in schools. Through my Foundation and Enterprise Academy, I want to help rewire the entrepreneurial potential of our country. The strength of business-led initiatives like Tenner Tycoon is that it gives thousands of children across the nation an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in a very practical way. Over the course of a month, by seeing what they can do to grow a ten pound note, young people learn essential business skills.

"My Foundation has ambitious plans to grow Tenner Tycoon tenfold from 25,000 in 2011 and this will help create a winning enterprise culture in our schools. We will work with government, business, education and political
audiences who can help realise the superb potential of the scheme and the ambitions of our young people."

The Enterprise Champions Programme will enable schools across the country to set up and manage a business. Schools will be given access to online resource materials and tools which will give practical advice for teachers. The Government will help schools engage local enterprise champions to support school businesses and extend learning into the commercial environment. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will be working with the Education and Employers Taskforce to have all elements of the programme up and running by the end this year.

Tenner Tycoon provides young people with a ten pound loan, with the challenge to make as much profit and social impact as possible through enterprising activities over one month. The Government will work with the Peter Jones Foundation to make Tenner Tycoon realise the ambition to reach at least 250,000 young people by 2014.

Enterprise societies in universities and colleges will provide students with the skills and support to develop and manage a business. The Government will aim to deliver enterprise societies into all 89 universities in England and at least 160 Further Education Colleges.

BIS will work with the National Consortium of University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) and the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurs (NCGE) to provide recommendations by the end of June, with the aspiration to showcase the first new enterprise societies by November this year.

The Innovation Launch Pad will be launched on 28th March 2011 and will enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to pitch their ideas on how they could deliver better value for money in the delivery of Government's business. The best ideas will be handpicked by a community of civil servants and, after intensive mentoring from some of Britain's foremost entrepreneurs, those that demonstrate the highest impact will be invited to present their ideas at a Product Surgery in the summer. In addition, Downing Street will host a reception for those with the best ideas. This will stimulate new open competitions in Government markets in which these suppliers will be able to participate.

Today also sees the launch of Brighton Fuse, a £1 million government funded initiative led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE).

A unique consortium has come together to fuel the creative, digital and IT economy in Brighton. The project unites Brighton and Sussex Universities with and Wired Sussex, which represents 2000 creative businesses. It aims to help the Brighton cluster create more entrepreneurial opportunities for new graduates and help graduate-rich SMEs gain access to the best university research to help build their businesses.