Teenagers from across the UK in areas including Birkenhead, East Ham, and Bristol will be given the chance to become the next generation of business stars.
Young people will get a share of funding from the FSB as they embark on Young Enterprise’s Company Programme, receiving mentoring to help them better understand the world of business from seasoned professionals from their local communities.
FSB small business owners will volunteer their time and years of experience to advise students on a business or social enterprise of their own.
Each business will last for the academic year and students will be responsible for everything, from design concept to selling, marketing strategies to financial planning.
The goal is to highlight the value of vocational education, focusing on six schools in disadvantaged areas.
FSB national chairman John Allan says, ‘We are thrilled to be working with Young Enterprise and the next generation of entrepreneurs on this project.
‘This partnership is crucial because businesses are concerned that young people aren’t prepared for the world of work. Engaging with employers, education providers and young people is a proven way to remedy this.’
Research has proven that if a pupil has four or more interactions with a business while at school, they are five times more likely to find themselves in education or training after school, says Allan.
‘If we want to develop the next generation of small business owners which will help carry the UK economy forward, then schemes like the Company Programme are important in showing that vocational learning is a valid and beneficial path offering long term career prospects.’
Chief executive of Young Enterprise Michael Mercieca adds, ‘We are proud to be working in partnership with the FSB to ensure that more young people leave education ready for the world of work.
‘Business-based education provides a sound environment for the learning of enterprise, financial and life skills at an early age. With this in place, we will see fewer young people falling through the cracks of the education system and more approaching the job market with the skills employers are looking for.’