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East Midlands Chamber News

You’re Hired! Agency Wins Bank Money For Schools To Develop Entrepreneurs

Derek HoggEnterprise Agency Erewash Partnership is delighted to have won funding to help six secondary schools develop future entrepreneurs.

It has won £11,000 from the first round of the RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise Fund, to offer help to local pupils in Erewash. The Partnership’s bid was one of 26 shortlisted out of 253 submitted requesting almost £10m in total. Successful schemes were voted for by the public.

The aim of the BEE (Business Enterprise Erewash) scheme is to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in local schools, give skills training in how to set up and run a business to 15-18-year-olds and to develop a business simulation kit that schools can use for years to come. Some pupils will also set up market stalls for real. The Partnership also wants to bring pupils closer to the wider business community and see business as a real career option.

Funding will pay for the simulation development and the kits which will teach basic business finance; a comprehensive business skills programme that will run for two years; which will cover all aspects of planning, starting and running a small business, regular contacts between businesses and schools; and with the help of Erewash Borough Council coaching and then real experience of being a market trader.

The Partnership was one of 10 groups shortlisted in bidding for grants of between £10,000-£25,000 and the only one in this section focused on the East Midlands.

Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said: “It is fantastic that the Partnership has been successful in winning this money to encourage and help young entrepreneurs with this innovative idea.

“I wish to thank Partnership members, and the public, including local pupils, for voting for our project. I also thank the local media for promoting our bid, which helped us win.”

Derek Hogg, Partnership senior economic development officer who wrote the winning bid, said: “Self-employment is still seen as the poor cousin for a career choice. We know from our work with the University of Derby that young people can come up with some really good ideas for businesses. Winning this bid means we can start the thought processes before they leave school.”

“As an award-winning enterprise agency with 18 years experience of helping people to plan, start and grow their own business, and delivering programmes for other organisations, our expertise in promoting Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres, plus a network of almost 450 businesses, we have the know-how and back-up to make this work.”

“We hope that schools, teachers, and pupils will all take advantage of the opportunities offered and that we will produce Erewash’s own high-flying business success stories.”
Councillor Geoff Smith, Erewash Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration and planning, said: “I am sure young people, parents and business people across Erewash will welcome this exciting news.

“This money offers a wonderful opportunity to go into our schools and provide the platform for the many talented young business brains we know we have in our communities. You cannot put a price on ‘inspiration’ as a form of learning and we support wholeheartedly any projects which will encourage future Erewash entrepreneurs.”

By the end of 2015 the RBS Fund aims to help 100,000 young people across the nation to explore enterprise, develop their skills and start up in business, whatever their background.