TEENAGE entrepreneurs from five local schools are swapping the classroom for the boardroom and the challenging world of business as part of a junior enterprise event.
Young people have been given the task of setting up a small business enterprise to sell a product with an Olympic theme.
Organisers from the Mansfield 2020 business networking group say they hope the event will encourage the participants to develop entrepreneurial characteristics including tenacity, independence, innovation, imagination, creativity and leadership.
The pupils are in year nine and attend Manor Academy at Mansfield Woodhouse, Brunts and Samworth academies in Mansfield, Garibaldi College at Forest Town and Meden School in Warsop.
Berni Dickinson, director of The Mansfield Learning Partnership, said: “The Mansfield 2020 Junior Enterprise Event is a wonderful opportunity for our young people to learn and develop the entrepreneurial skills required to set up a small business enterprise.
“Local businesses have been fantastic with the offer of financial sponsorship and their valuable time to plan the event and act as business mentors to the young people.
“This event demonstrates the partnership working between local employers and schools, all working together to make a difference for our young people.”
Some of the Olympic-themed ideas include selling T-shirts, bracelets, socks, flags, teddy bears and sports packs.
Working in teams of five or six, the students will be selling their products on stalls in Mansfield Market Place on 4th July - and residents are encouraged to go along and see them in action.
They will also be producing a three-minute film marketing their product ahead of the awards evening to be held on 5th July.
One of the judges for the competition is Chad editor Tracy Powell, who says she is looking forward to seeing what the students come up with.
Tracy said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for local business to work alongside local youngsters, raising their aspirations, and to show them that enterprise can be successful in the town that they live in. “Partnerships between Mansfield businesses and education is key to ensuring the town’s future economic success.”
Fellow judge Malcolm Hall, managing director of Hall Fast Industrial Supplies, said: “I hope to see creative ideas and enthusiasm from the young people taking part, and I really do hope that they have a lot of fun,” he said.
“The idea behind this event is to help raise the aspirations of young people in the Mansfield area, and to give them the opportunity to be entrepreneurial, it is important that going forward the business community of Mansfield works closely with schools and colleges to help our young people succeed.”
Categories include Best Product, sponsored by Mansfield 2020; Most Profitable Product, sponsored by Mansfield District Council; Most Community Related Product, sponsored by West Notts College; Best Team, sponsored by Sainsbury’s; Best Presentation, sponsored by Linney Group and Overall Winner, who will receive a £500 prize and a trophy, sponsored by Hall-Fast Ltd.
Any profits made from sales of the products will be transferred to a special trust fund to sponsor the event next year.