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Young entrepreneurs learn vital business skills

* 19 January 2004 *

Young entrepreneurs learn vital business skills

Entrepreneurs of the future will be learning how to turn business ideas into reality at a special event hosted by the University of Sussex.

More than 250 Year 10 pupils from 18 Sussex schools are taking part in workshops and talks on January 22 and 23 for the launch of the first Entrepreneurs for Tomorrow Business Plan Competition.

Speakers at the two-day event include. MIke Herd, director of the Sussex Innovation Centre, and former British ice dance champion, Nicky Slater, who is now a marketing and business coach and runs his own innovative company, Adventure.

The event has been organised by the University's regional development office, together with the Specialist Schools Trust, Sussex Innovation Centre, Education Business Partnership and Ringer Community College. All schools involved [see list below] are affiliated to or are members of the Specialist Schools Trust.

Sharon Phillips, regional development manager for the University of Sussex, says:  "The university feels that entrepreneurship and innovation are important to business growth and education and that it's essential these seeds are sown early in the career of a potential entrepreneur."

The event involves advice and guidance from local business mentors, academics and student mentors  about how universities can be involved in innovative projects within the curriculum, as well as a visit to the Innovation Centre to find out how it supports and encourages new companies.

"The aim is to help these young people develop the skills to come up with a business concept," says Sharon Phillips. "They don't have to make the product or implement it, but they will need to research the market place and ground their ideas."

The students will be given until April to submit business plans for the competition, with the winners to be announced in May 2004. The winning project will be determined by the business plan that the judges would be most likely to invest in.

* Notes for editors *

  1. Schools taking part are: Bexhill High School; Eastbourne Technology College; The Forest School; Hove Park; Oakmeads Community College; Ringmer Community College; Tideway Community School; Uckfield Community Technology College; Uplands Community College; Bishop Bell CofE School; Chichester High School for Boys; Dorothy Stringer High School; Durrington High School; Littlehampton Community School; Rydens School; Robertsbridge Community College; Varndean School.
  2. Specialist schools have a special focus on their chosen subject area but must meet the full National Curriculum requirements and deliver a broad and balanced education to pupils. They work within a named 'family of schools' for the benefit of pupils beyond their own school boundaries and other groups of people in the wider community.

Press Office contacts: Jacqui Bealing or Alison Field, University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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