Budding young business people had a boost from ‘dragons’ at the University of Chester.
The university’s business school played host to five schools and colleges all competing in the Young Enterprise Company initiative.
The national charity supports around 400,000 students each year providing a range of workshops and guidance from business advisors to help foster an entrepreneurial approach and other useful employment skills.
Under the scheme schools and colleges develop small businesses and compete against each other in competitions.
Ahead of the Cheshire final, to be held at Barclays regional offices next month, five schools and colleges from across the county took part in a Dragon’s Den style contest in the impressive boardroom of the university’s business school at Queen’s Park in Chester.
A panel of judges assessed presentations and interviewed teams from Christleton High, Cheshire College West, Wilmslow High and Alderley Edge School for Girls.
Lisa Conway, chairman of the Cheshire and Warrington board of Young Enterprise and a senior lecturer at the university, said: “We are reminded every year that young people should never be underestimated in business.
“These impressive young people left our judges in awe with their professionalism and commitment. They demonstrated some really exciting business ideas and we see bright futures ahead for all of them.
“We wish them luck competing in the county finals and beyond.”
On the evening of the competition students also received support from Swimwear Mansion, a company established through the university in conjunction with the Young Enterprise Start-Up programme.
Entrpreneurs Joey Staerkle and Sarah Armstrong recently qualified for the Young Enterprise north west finals with their innovative range of UV-protective and modest swimwear suited to all shapes, sizes and ages.
Director Joey, who is studying business management at the university, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to pass on our knowledge to the impressive next generation of entrepreneurs.
“Young Enterprise and the University of Chester have inspired Sarah and I so much, it seems completely appropriate to be able to pay that back.”
Schools or colleges who are interested in learning more about Young Enterprise for next year and also organisations interested in sponsoring schools or awards should contact Young Enterprise manager Suzanne Lockwood at Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org.