Students from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have pitched their enterprising ideas to four ‘Dragons’ as part of a Young Enterprise event hosted by Michelin Development.
Pupils from six schools entered the Young Enterprise Dragon’s Den to gain feedback and ideas on start-up businesses they developed themselves. The event was the first stage in the Young Enterprise Company Programme, which will see further stages held at World of Wedgwood and the New Vic Theatre next year ahead of regional and national heats and the European final.
The six schools taking part in the programme are Stafford Grammar School (main image) and King Edward VI High School, both in Stafford, Alleyne’s Academy in Stone, Abbey Hill School and College in Meir, St Thomas More Catholic Academy in Longton, and Blythe Bridge High School.
Each group of students – all aged between 15 and 19 – were given four minutes to pitch their ideas, which included personalised lunchboxes, dog collars made from donated jeans, hi-vis bag covers, resin coasters, children’s books and an interactive learning toy.
The ‘Dragons’ who judged the students’ pitches, offered positive feedback and gave advice, were Leigh-Ann Elliot from NCFE and Sonya Farrall from BabaBaboon, as well as James Gibson and Nicki Ockleton from Michelin.
Paul Phillips, Area Manager at Young Enterprise UK, said: “After 18 months of sporadic in-person education, it’s been great to see groups of resilient young people deliver such professional presentations. Organisation, research and communication skills are just some of the key areas that have been highlighted during the event, and it’s been great to see the pupil’s confidence grow throughout the day.”
The annual Young Enterprise Company Programme has been running for more than a decade, offering young people the chance to learn business-related skills and work with mentors from local companies, which this year includes Dunelm, Staffordshire University and Mazars Accountants.
Michelin Development works in the regions where Michelin premises are – or have been – located, to support the economic regeneration and long-term prosperity of the local business community.
Carol Hopkins, Michelin Development Co-ordinator, said: “In partnership with Young Enterprise, Michelin Development has provided local pupils with an opportunity to learn valuable skills that can be applied to their future careers. It’s clear to see that their hard work and preparation has paid off, with the event given the teams a drive to continue in the Company Programme.”
To find out more visit www.michelindevelopment.co.uk