Every school in Liverpool is being invited to apply for funding from the City Council to unleash an enterprise culture within young people.
It is the first time a local authority in the UK has launched such a challenge which will encourage every pupil in the city to set up a successful enterprising project.
It is all part of the city’s success in winning the bid to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) next March. The prestigious event attracts thousands of leading entrepreneurs, thought leaders and economists from more than 120 countries and Liverpool is the first European city to host the Congress. Previous host cities include Kansas City in 2009, Dubai in 2010 and Shanghai in 2011.
The six-month schools competition “Liverpool’s Great Enterprise Challenge” allows all 170 of the city’s schools to apply to set up an entrepreneurial project with a start-up fund of £100.
More money will be invested during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, when all schools will be invited to showcase their ideas. The top 20 will receive additional funding from a Dragons’ Den style panel which will include young people, entrepreneurs, head teachers and a City Council cabinet member.
In January 2012, the very best 10 ideas will be assigned business mentors and given significant investment to develop a business plan to pitch to investors at the Congress itself.
The initiative is being led by pupils, headteachers in partnership with Liverpool City Council following a commitment earlier this year by Cllr Joe Anderson, Liverpool City Council leader, to seed fund the competition at a Downtown Liverpool in Business event during a visit from the Kauffman Foundation.
Cllr Gary Millar, the city council’s assistant cabinet member to the leader and a successful entrepreneur in his own right, said: “Once again Liverpool is leading the way by helping to create and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs which I passionately believe is key to the future success and transformation of the city’s economy.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for primary and secondary school pupils from across Liverpool to work across communities, be creative, realise their potential and live the dream.”
Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision said: “We want to create an environment for enterprise and business success now and in the future and that means embedding an enterprise culture in our schools and unlocking the entrepreneurial talent in our children.
“This competition will not only be an exciting project for pupils to become involved in, but will also provide a legacy of the GEC in Liverpool.
“All profits and surplus funds at the end of the competition will be reinvested into future enterprise in education activity in later years.
Jonathan Ortmans, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, welcomed Liverpool’s schools programme. He said: “Future growth is dependent on start ups and we need to light the candles of entrepreneurship in young people and create something new in Liverpool.
“This programme will give the children the confidence and support to unleash their ideas, to be creative with how they realise them and to become an entrepreneur, which will benefit them, their communities, their city and their country.”
The GEC 2012 is presented by the US-based Kauffman Foundation and Liverpool Vision.
Earlier this month Liverpool Vision launched their plans to create the world’s first global Festival of Entrepreneurship with a compelling series of fringe events on a diverse range of entrepreneurial activity.
For more information about the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2012 in Liverpool, sponsorship opportunities and the Festival of Entrepreneurship fringe programme, visit www.gec2012.com
You can also follow GEC 2012 on Twitter@gec2012 and join the Facebook page www.facebook.com/gec2012
For more press information contact Richard Clein or John Butters, Bell Pottinger North on 0151 244 5466 / 07803 729133, email@example.com or John Butters on 01625 506444 / 07788 432343, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, contact Jonathan Caswell, Head of Public Relations, Liverpool Vision on 0151 600 2946 / 07515 999422, email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
• Liverpool Vision is the city’s economic development company which integrates economic and physical development and business and enterprise support designed to accelerate the city’s growth and build a sustainable economy.
• The Kauffman Foundation works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and facilitate the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies.
• Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, more than 35,000 events and competitions in 120 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors.