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A COMPETITION which nurtures entrepreneurship, innovation and vital skills in school children from schools across County Durham is celebrating its 19th year.

Future Business Magnates (FBM) has firmly established itself in secondary school calendars and this year’s competition will challenge 100, 12 to 13-year-olds from a dozen schools to come up with viable business ideas under the theme: What a Wonderful World – Can you Make it Better?

Organised by Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council, FBM champions enterprise and innovation through an immersive year-long programme.

Children will have to come up with great business ideas to tackle one of three challenges the world faces – the energy crisis, water pollution or food waste. They will then create prototypes and understand how to market and finance their products or services.  They will also learn valuable life skills such as research, teamwork, and problem-solving.

In previous years, teams from across the county have developed products, including a jigsaw aimed at connecting the generations and improving mental health, a mobile health scanner and clean air filtration systems. Last year’s winner, the team from St John’s Catholic School & Sixth Form Centre, impressed judges with their innovative product, Plant-a-Pencil, a pencil you can plant in soil to minimise waste going into landfill.

Business leaders from organisations such as NuxtLabs, Co-op Retail Logistics, Waterstons, BTS Fabrications, William Smith, Erwin Hymer, Robertson Homes and Entreprenising act as team mentors and the winners are crowned in a ceremony held in County Durham.

Jordanna Kennedy, Assistant Head of Year from last year’s winning school, St John’s Catholic School & Sixth Form College, in Bishop Auckland, said: “Engaging in this program provides our young people with genuine, real-world experiences that allow them to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This hands-on experience not only complements their classroom learning but also offers invaluable insights into how businesses works. By navigating the world of entrepreneurship at a young age, our students gain not only practical skills but also life lessons that foster personal growth, setting the stage for future achievements.”

County Durham’s Inclusive Economic Strategy sets out an ambitious vision for the County’s economic future and highlights the importance of raising aspirations in young people so they can excel in business and their careers.  Future Business Magnates gets the county’s young people ready to take on this challenge.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet Member for Economy and Partnerships at Durham County Council, said: “Future Business Magnates shows just what young minds can achieve when they’re given the opportunity, resources, and inspiration to create brighter futures, for themselves and for the region.

“Our competition not only helps students grow into future business leaders but also empowers our schools and businesses to contribute to the future economic prosperity of County Durham.”

For more information about Future Business Magnates and how you can get involved, please visit www.futurebusinessmagnates.co.uk

 

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