A business boss has described the vital role Derbyshire companies play in helping young entrepreneurs realise their dreams.
Volunteers from firms across the county share their skills with young business brains each year as part of a national competition.
And this year their guidance has paid off – as Chesterfield’s St Mary’s became the first north Derbyshire school in 11 years to reach the final of the Young Enterprise contest.
Hazel James, secretary of North Derbyshire Young Enterprise, said: “Each school that takes part has a business advisor, to point them in the right direction.
“They answer questions but allow the pupils to shape their own business.”
She added: “It’s so fulfilling as they start from nothing and when you work with a group, like St Mary’s you feel so proud when they get as far as they do.”
The students’ company called ‘Motiv8’ created unique headphone organisers.
The sixth formers have been so successful they plan to continue the business to help fund their university studies.
Hazel, a recruitment consultant for Thorn Baker in Chesterfield, said: “It’s a really big achievement for them to get that far in the competition, against the rest of the country.”
She added: “They’ve set up a website. You can tell they’re going to go a long way in life.”
Hazel said the charity education project, which cost £4,000 to run, was important at a time of high youth unemployment.
She added: “Some people come in to the workplace and they haven’t got a clue about how business works.
“Whenever I see Young Enterprise on a CV I always take a second look.”