By Daniel Hunter

School children in England are flexing their entrepreneurial muscles as they prepare for Tycoon in Schools 2013. Over 250 secondary schools up and down the country have signed up to take part in Tycoon in Schools 2013, the national enterprise competition spearheaded by entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones CBE.

The new band of Tycoons are now gearing up to start the new term with an entrepreneurial bang. Secondary schools signed up for the competition will today be starting to prepare their business proposals making them as exciting and imaginative as possible to try and catch the eye of Dragons’ Den star and entrepreneur, Peter Jones CBE.

The competition grants a start-up loan tohundreds of students aged between 11-18 years to encourage and inspire them to start a business whilst at school thereby placing enterprise at the heart of the education system in England.

Peter Jones CBE and his judging panel will grant up to £1,000 per school. The successful teams that progress to the next stage of the competition will start up their businesses and trade for a period of four weeks during November. Following the end of trading, all teams will be judged on innovation, performance and profits. The overall competition winner and four special award winners will be announced in January 2014.

The range of business ideas proposed and executed last year show how imaginative secondary school students can be. Innovative business ideas ranged from hand crafted clothing exchanges and community written recipe books, to customized technology accessories and even a potential cure for arthritis in horses. The competition was won by Eleanor Bullough from Da Vinci School, for her business Boo’s Bits & Bobs.

Following backing from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, the competition has now received a funding injection of £50,000, which will enable more secondary school children to take part and rollout the campaign.

The competition can be implemented easily within each school using a range of specially designed and unique teacher resources developed to support the Tycoon in Schools teams as they progress their business ideas. The resources are designed to help students and inform their thinking when developing their business idea and working out the costs and projected cash flow forecast as well as support the completion of the Tycoon in Schools business plan template.

The deadline for students to submit theircompleted business plans to the Peter Jones Foundation is Tuesday 8th October 2013.

Alice Barnard, CEO of the Peter Jones Foundation said: “We are thrilled to have had so many schools up and down the country sign up for the Tycoon in Schools competition this year. With the support from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, the competition is set to be greater than ever.

“The Tycoon in Schools initiative is very important to the Peter Jones Foundation. Inspiring entrepreneurship and business minded thinking in young people is at the heart of our mission at the Peter Jones Foundation as it is vital for their future development and success. I can’t wait to see the new businesses and young entrepreneurial talent that emerges this year.”

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