Search for budding business geniuses in schools

Councillor Nick Small

Is the next Richard Branson or Mary Portas currently dreaming at a desk, learning in a lab or sprinting across a sports field?

If so, now’s their chance to shine – because young entrepreneurs are being challenged to turn seed-funding into profit to support the vital work of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

The charity’s 50/50 Enterprise Competition is now open for entries from primary and secondary schools across Merseyside. Teams of students compete to make the most profitable return on an initial £50 of funding.

In the inaugural 50/50 Competition, students from seven schools – both primary and senior – took part. Now the drive is on to recruit more youngsters with bright ideas on how to run a business.

The competition is supported with start-up funding and prizes supplied by sponsors the Mayor’s Hope Fund, Enterprise rent-a-car and McGinley Education. The new Challenge will start on 16th October this year.

In the first 50/50 Enterprise Challenge students devised a wide variety of money-making schemes including cake sales, a performance of Alice in Wonderland, a pyjama day, Christmas Fairs, raffles, a film and Bingo night, penalty shoot-outs, toy sales and the disco-themed Boogie Bounce.

The city’s whizz-kids turned up trumps – in total, they posted a very healthy profit of over £1,700 on an initial investment of £1,000.

All profits raised will help Wavertree-based Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation to support innovative scientific research into ways to beat the UK’s biggest cancer killer.

Amy Clarke, the charity’s Community Fundraising Officer, is already excited about the new competition.

She said: “The 50/50 Enterprise Competition is a great opportunity for the young people of Merseyside to show just how ingenious they are. All those who entered the first competition demonstrated great creativity, so we can’t wait to see what the schools come up with this time!

Several prizes are up for grabs, including awards for team work, and for generating the highest income.

Cllr Nick Small, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Education, is confident that young people will relish the Challenge.

He said: “We have a wonderful pool of talent across our schools, and we know our youngsters will do us proud. I look forward to watching their ideas develop and their enterprise flourish. We thank our co-sponsors, Enterprise and McGinley Education, for their generosity and investment.

“Their support will help us to inspire the entrepreneurs of the future.”