BUDDING entrepreneurs from a South Yorkshire school received a helping hand from local firms when they entered a competition to set up a successful business.
Pupils at Barnsley Academy, Kendray, received grants from Marina Wood, director of Dearne Valley-based Dragonfly Public Relations, and Andrew Chesterton, of IT support company Praxsoft, as part of the town’s first Enterprise Challenge.
Marie and Andrew, who both donated £25, also acted as mentors and encouraged the teams.
The competition was run by Business and Education South Yorkshire, in collaboration with the Entrepreneur Exchange, Barnsley Council and Barnsley Work and Skills Board.
They advised the Year 9 business studies students on setting up and running their own events business.
The first big event they are working towards is a car boot sale and family fun day, which will take place at the school in July.
The ‘I know I can’ Barnsley Enterprise Challenge 2011 involves students from three Barnsley secondary schools and two educational centres being given the chance to start their own businesses, and keeping them running for as long as possible.
Marina Wood said: “The pupils were very enthusiastic. I talked to them about different roles within a business, the need to have a team leader and to delegate tasks.
“They made a lot of progress in planning their event, addressing issues around pricing, promotion and how much profit they expect to make. They all seemed really excited about the chance.”
John Barber, from the Entrepreneur Exchange, said: “This type of challenge has worked well in Sheffield and we were really keen to see how it would engage students in Barnsley. Involvement from local business people, really makes a huge difference to the pupils, by bringing the world of work into the classroom.”
n More school news in Class Act inside The Star tonight