Tycoon in Schools, an enterprise competition for school children led by BBC Dragon Peter Jones CBE, has officially launched today.
Announced in July, the scheme encourages 11-18 year-olds across the UK to build profit-making businesses in schools, backed by funding from a £100,000 personal investment from Jones.
Selected by Jones last month for their innovative business ideas, which range from community written recipe books to potential arthritis cures for horses, 500 students from 50 UK schools have received funding for their enterprises.
After four weeks of trading, which began today, the most profitable business will be crowned the Ultimate Tycoon in Schools.
The scheme marks Jones’ second show of support for young entrepreneurs; the TV entrepreneur previously invested in the Tenner Tycoon programme, which failed to go ahead this year, following the demise of the government-backed scheme which had been financing it.
Jones is confident that his spin-off of the school-based competition will promote entrepreneurialism among UK students.
He said: “This is the first year that we have run Tycoon in Schools and I have been hugely impressed by the quality of business plans submitted.
“Students from across the UK have shown great enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit and this competition will showcase their fantastic abilities.
“I'm personally very excited because as a country we need to do more to encourage enterprise and it is my view that we should be helping develop entrepreneurial talent from the earliest opportunity in schools.”