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09.11.06
Students all set for another 'Business Adventure'

Left to right: Lindsey Mcloughlin, Chelsey-Leigh Lockhart and Jamin MohammedAfter last year's successful 'Business Adventure' competition, 14 schools and colleges across Devon and Cornwall will be challenging groups of their students to drive an innovative business or social enterprise idea that will see them crowned winners of 'Business Adventure' 2007.

'Business Adventure' is organised by Business Link Devon and Cornwall in conjunction with Connexions Cornwall and Devon Ltd, Crag Rats, Devon Education Business Partnership and the Learning Skills Council.

Ian Gent, head of marketing, Business Link Devon and Cornwall said, "The programme has been set up to provide year 10 and 11 students in Devon and Cornwall with an experience that will develop their entrepreneurial skills. Last year's teams put enormous energy and enthusiasm into the competition and the results of their hard work were there for all to see. 'Business Adventure' should be even bigger this year as we have more schools taking part and we hope to see more entrepreneurial and creative ideas that have real business potential."

This year's 'Business Adventure' programme kicks off this week with a series of school based business activity days where up to forty Key Stage 4 students will watch a theatrical performance that will introduce them to all the characteristics that make up a good entrepreneur. The performances, delivered by theatrical communications company Crag Rats, who will also set the students' exercises and activities that will test their levels of entrepreneurship. The students will then compete to try and convince a panel of judges of their entrepreneurial ability to run a successful business or social enterprise that will benefit their school or local community.

The schools' winning teams will then work on turning their projects into reality through to March next year, when they will compete in a dragon's den style final due to take place at the Eden Project. Throughout their 4 months of preparation for the grand final, the students will be able to get specialist help and support from Crag Rats and Business Link advisers, specialising in a variety of different areas of business.

Cornish schools taking up the challenge include: Liskeard School, Launceston School and Falmouth School.

Business Link is once again working together in partnership with Connexions Cornwall and Devon on this innovative inter-school entrepreneurship competition.

Jenny Rudge, chief executive of Connexions Cornwall and Devon added, "It's wonderful to see even more schools taking part in this year's 'Business Adventure' because events such as this are instrumental in widening students' interests and aspirations. We want to enable all young people to consider the full range of opportunities and career paths open to them, and hopefully this introduction to the business world will inspire a new generation of South West entrepreneurs."

Last year, eight schools were involved in the 'Dragons Den' style competition with Lipson Community College students winning the overall 'Business Adventure' title for their 'Hand Hugz' business – hand and neck warmers made from performance fleece material. The business is still running in school where the youngsters have diversified into producing waistcoats and theatrical costumes.

Debbie Sweet, the Lipson Community College teacher who mentored the winning group said, "The whole process gave this group of young people loads of confidence and it has turned out to be a real inspiration for some of them. Two of the year 11 students have come back to the college for their A levels and they have moved on to be in Young Enterprise - taking on the roles of managing director and finance co-ordinator. The younger students have become much more actively involved in school projects like council meetings and travel plan meetings to encourage green transport into the school."

Geoff Hallett, Devon Education Business Partnership, explained how experiences such as Business Adventure benefit students, "It is so important that students can start to form ideas about different types of employment - entrepreneurship is one option that we should encourage young people to consider while they are still at school. Business Adventure gives them the opportunity to develop a business idea and get involved with all the different aspects of running and launching a company. It will help students develop leadership and communication skills as well as giving them an insight into the world of business."

There is an official Business Adventure website, www.business-adventure.co.uk in which students can check out the latest news, gather information or ask questions to help them with their projects.

For further information please contact Adam McPherson of the Marketing PR Company on 01566 771861 or email amcpherson@marketing-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link Devon and Cornwall through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

The Lisbon Agenda for Growth and Jobs, which outlines an ambition for Europe to become the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010, highlights the importance of nurturing enterprise to achieve this aim. This means ensuring the business environment is conducive to small enterprises, making sure individuals have business skills and creating a culture of entrepreneurship. These important skills and attitudes can be nurtured in young people through education, benefiting both individuals and the wider economy.

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Editor's notes:

Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and those considering starting a business. Additionally, it provides impartial business advice and support through a network of partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to the region under contract from the South West RDA.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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