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Primary school children will be given chance to start their own business with a £5 loan under a new scheme to encourage young entrepreneurs.
The Fiver Challenge will give thousands of pupils aged up to 11 the chance to set up their own business and learn about the world of enterprise.
20,000 children from 500 primary schools across the UK are expected to take part this year by creating products or services to sell at a profit – which they are allowed to keep – and then return the original loan to the Fiver Bank. It is run by Young Enterprise in partnership with Virgin Money and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The first round of the challenge will run in June 2014 with a national award ceremony in September for top entrepreneurs.
Enterprise in education
The scheme was announced on the same day Lord Young formally launched a review of enterprise activities in education at a visit to Lauriston Primary School in Hackney. The review will make recommendations on how to inspire more people with the entrepreneurial spirit needed to succeed in employment or enterprise.
The Prime Minister’s Enterprise Advisor, Lord Young, said:
A society and an education system which fosters and values enterprise is vital if young people are to be fit and ready for the real world when they leave school, college or university. I will be looking across the education system to see what more can be done to boost our entrepreneurial spirit and will report back to the Prime Minister in the summer.
I am delighted that government has been able to provide funding and partner up with Young Enterprise and Virgin Money to fund this innovative scheme – who knows, maybe I’ve met the CEO of the next Virgin or Google in Lauriston School this morning.
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:
It’s important that young people gain the skills and experience they need to help them understand what it means to run a business and to do it successfully.
The new Fiver Challenge and Lord Young’s upcoming Enterprise Education review support the government’s drive to build a culture of enterprise and I hope this will inspire a new generation to consider entrepreneurship as a career option.
From my experience kids can be incredibly enterprising, I can’t wait to see what ideas they come up with.
Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said:
Ever since we launched Tenner, which runs in March and suits secondary schools best, we have received many requests from primary teachers to create something similar in June – which is much more convenient for primary schools.
I am delighted that Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Money have forged a partnership with Young Enterprise to make that possible. Thanks also to the support of the government, the Fiver Challenge will give tens of thousands of primary pupils a vital chance to make an early start in acquiring enterprise and employability skills and attitudes that could transform their lives and the future prosperity of this country.
Virgin Money Chief Executive Officer, Jayne- Anne Gadhia, said:
The Virgin brand has a long history in enterprising and entrepreneurial endeavours and we are delighted to be supporting Young Enterprise in this initiative. There is a great synergy between Virgin Money’s Make £5 Grow scheme and the Fiver Challenge and this programme is going to offer a wonderful opportunity for aspiring, young entrepreneurs to demonstrate that with the help of £5, they can turn a great idea into an exciting little business and learn how to grow their money at the same time.