Students in business challenge

Dragon's Den
Dragon's Den

BUDDING young entrepreneurs will be battling it out for a chance to change the face of their community in a Dragons’ Den style business challenge.

More than 2,000 youngsters from 11 schools across the district will pitch their ideas for an improved residential area in their community, with the winning project being bought to reality by Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).

The competition, run by the North East Learning Community (NELC), WDH and Compact Education Business Services, will see pupils from Castleford High, Pontefract King’s School, Carleton Community High and Knottingley High Schools taking part.

Each idea must include a project name, a design brief, drawings and models to pitch to a panel of judges, as well as questionnaires and estimated costs to get pupils thinking of all business aspects.

Tim Craven, WDH skills and enterprise manager, said: “This enterprise will help young people develop business skills and get them talking to residents in their communities they will be representing.

“We want to create confident communities and this is an excellent way to get everyone involved and working together. It will teach the pupils the importance of research and the ability to budget correctly.

“They have to think about every aspect of the project in detail.”

Students from Knottingley High School have dedicated weekly lessons to the enterprise competition by deciding how they could best spend £5,000 to regenerate an area of unused land in their community.

Pupil John Fisher, 13, said: “We have been designing a questionnaire to send out to the public so we know what they want. We’re all really enjoying working as a team.”

Members of the overall winning team will each receive an iPod Shuffle donated by NELC.

Nigel Turner, NELC co-ordinator, said: “We expect the students to come up with some brilliant ideas to improve their local areas and we’re looking forward to their presentations at the grand final.”