Their pitches outside Tescos on the Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside were a veritable hive of activity, with 150 pupils from Burnside Business and Enterprise College, John Spence Community High School and Longbenton Community College selling their wares to the passing office staff and shoppers.
The 11-year-olds have spent the past two weeks learning how to turn an initial £1 outlay into a viable business idea on their summer school course.
Social enterprise Skills to Shine works with hundreds of youngsters leaving primary school to head into secondary school during the summer break, preparing them for the big leap into a new school and all the changes that brings.
The summer school programme is enterprise and career-focused, preparing children for their new curriculum by giving them essential skills, knowledge and experience to go on and achieve the career they want to.
Skills to Shine has worked with the likes of Tesco Bank, Asda, Pizza Express, Thorntons, photographers, advertising and marketing specialists and filmmakers during a series of workshops to inspire the youngsters with business ideas.
They have responded with a wealth of creative commercial concepts which will be unveiled to the public as trading businesses this Thursday July 30 between 11.30am and 1.30pm at Cobalt’s Central retail parade.
“The young people have really taken up the challenge to create a host of businesses including running a sports event, café, catering business and glass painting,” said Lindsey Dunn, CEO at Skills to Shine.
“The Make a Pound Grow challenge has given the youngsters the self confidence to draw up their own business ideas which they are all very passionate about.
“They are learning how to work in teams and will have to use their confidence and skills to talk to members of the public as they sell from their stalls.”
Lynn Cramman, business Development Manager at Cobalt added “We are delighted to welcome these young entrepreneurs to Cobalt to grow their £1’s”
“In the visit we have been able to demonstrate the wealth of opportunities on the park in our ever growing sectors such as IT, Banking, Renewables and Utilities”
“We have been really impressed with the project and the children’s attitude to business and hope the experience will enthuse them for their future careers”
Skills to Shine’s Summer School programme works with schools in Northumberland, North Tyneside and County Durham, supported by employers, education practitioners and industry experts to engage young people in project-based learning.
It aims to inspire them by demonstrating through exciting projects that learning at school is real and relevant to their own future career choices.
All the money raised from market stall sales on the day will go to the WildHearts foundation providing small loans and business training to people living in some of the world’s poorest communities.