Transforming Futures in Chesterfield

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Young people in Chesterfield are being invited to take part in a new programme designed to develop their entrepreneurial skills and confidence to help them kickstart their career.

After successfully receiving £6,000 in funding through Chesterfield Borough Council’s Community Grants Fund, Young Enterprise - the national financial and enterprise education charity – is teaming up with Springwell Community College and Netherthorpe School, inviting pupils to take part in its Company Programme.

The Company Programme aims to empower young people aged between 13 and 19 to set up and run a student company under the guidance of a volunteer from a local business.

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Students will be responsible for making all the decisions about their business, including deciding on the company name, managing the company finances and selling to the public. Participants gain practical business experience and key skills.

Students taking part in the Company Programme Students taking part in the Company Programme
Students taking part in the Company Programme

Volunteers from local businesses are also being urged to get involved as mentors and provide the students with practical advice and guidance. Any businesses interested in taking part can contact the Educational Partnerships Manager: [email protected] .

As part of the annual programme of activities, Young Enterprise will also be running a launch and pitch event, where the young people will be able to pitch their business ideas to businesses in the area.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Brough Council, said: “We’re really pleased that our Community Grants Fund scheme can fund initiatives such as the Company Programme. When we first launched the scheme, we wanted to make sure that funding could be used to help people prepare to get in to work, and this project does just that.

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“Our Skills Action Plan, which we unveiled earlier this year, is all about providing people not only with education, but also the experience of putting those skills into practice.

“Young Enterprise is giving young people the opportunity to improve their work readiness and work experience. It will help them to develop practical business experience and key skills including finance management and public speaking.

“We’re investing in Staveley through our Town Deal and I know many of the board members are keen to support this project and support young people to learn more about starting their own businesses. I am really looking forward to watching this project develop and seeing young people thrive.”

Ian Wingfield, headteacher at Springwell Community College, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project and I know our students are excited to get started. This is a great opportunity for them to develop a range of valuable skills at the same time as connecting further with their community.”

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Sharon Davies, Chief Executive Officer, Young Enterprise, said: “We are delighted that Chesterfield Borough Council is supporting Springwell Community College and Netherthorpe School to launch Company Programme to their students. Company Programme provides a real-life learning opportunity that introduces young people to the realities of the world of work. Previous participants have come up with innovative ideas for their companies, often with a strong socially-conscious theme, which have real potential to become businesses of the future. We are excited to see what the young people taking part in Chesterfield achieve and wish them the best of luck for their Company Programme journey.”

Helen McVicar, headteacher at Netherthorpe School, says that the project will enable pupils to develop real-life skills. She said: “The Young Enterprise Scheme is a fantastic initiative, and we are delighted to be involved. We pride ourselves on being connected with our community and this project will help us to further strengthen those ties whilst also testing the entrepreneurial skills of our young people, and developing important real-life skills.”

More information on Young Enterprise, including details on how other schools and young people can get involved in the Company Programme, can be found at:

Funding for Chesterfield Borough Council’s grants scheme has been successfully secured from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), together with money raised through the Community Infrastructure Levy Neighbourhood Portion (CIL).

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More information on the Community Grants Fund can be found at:

The community grants are just one initiative which is benefiting from funding through the UKSPF, after the council was successful in securing £2.6m from the Government. It will fund initiatives up to April 2025, which are designed to improve life for local people and support local businesses.