Kent charity Education Business Partnership (EBP) Kent has partnered with NatWest to launch its 17th Business of Enterprise challenge encouraging 1,000 pupils across nine schools in the county to create winning business ideas.
Business of Enterprise involves teams of students aged 14 to 16 working with the programme’s organisers and local businesses to create a unique product or service, which could then be turned into an entrepreneurial business.
EBPKent, NatWest and the programme’s network of business experts will mentor the students, encouraging them to explore the roles of marketing, branding and finance, as well as helping them to improve their confidence and general employment skills.
At the end of the 12-week programme, teams in each school will present their ideas to a panel of judges, with the winning team going on to represent their school at a grand final in London on Friday, July 10.
Last week students from Royal Harbour Academy and Dane Court Grammar School who took part in the 2019 programme, presented their ideas to some of NatWest’s senior team, including Rachel Blackamore, Managing Director of Personal Banking in London and the South East, and Nick Howe, Regional Enterprise Manager, to officially launch this year’s programme.
Their ideas included glasses to help those who are visually impaired and hard of hearing, created by last year’s runners up from Royal Harbour Academy. Six students from Dane Court Grammar School also presented their idea for a hi-tech wrist band to help dementia and Alzheimer sufferers – which was awarded the Best Overall Business of Enterprise 2019 title.
Anne McNulty, Chief Executive at EBP, said: “This project has life changing potential, which is evident from our discussions this week with last year’s finalists.
“The students have been able to dispel certain myths or fears about business, gain a first-hand understanding of how a company works and bolster their CVs for the future. The next step after this may be that they go on to study business at a higher level or start-up a company themselves because of the passion inspired by Business of Enterprise.
“This year, we hope to emulate the project’s past success by helping students think outside of the box, work directly with local and national employers on their own business ideas from concept to pitching and give them an insight into starting their own business and employer expectations.”
Rachel Blackamore said: “At NatWest we pride ourselves on offering financial education for younger generations and the Business of Enterprise Project run by EBPKent epitomises this. The project gives pupils a well-rounded insight into the creation, development and finances behind a start-up business.
“Providing today’s students with business skills for the future is invaluable. Business of Enterprise is an inclusive project that opens up the business world to a younger audience and last year’s final even gave some students the opportunity to visit London for the first time. We hope to see students across Kent from this year and previous year’s programmes go on to flourish.”
For more information on this year’s Business of Enterprise Programme visit www.ebpkent.co.uk or on Facebook as ebpkent