Local tuition company, Tutora, are seeking out the best young entrepreneurial minds across the country as they introduce children to new business concepts through their Young Entrepreneurs’ Challenge initiative.
The events are designed to open children’s eyes to the possibility of creating their own tech businesses, whilst teaching them many of the skills they will need to get going.
In the first event, held here in Sheffield at the University’s Diamond building, the children created their own companies in just a few hours, before pitching their business plans to a panel of three judges, including Lee Strafford, the Co-Founder of PlusNet.
The judges chose St Thomas More Catholic Primary School children’s ‘Homework Helper’ as their winning entry, an ingenious service to help children struggling with their home learning by allowing parents to access immediate online assistance. The panel highlighted the children’s inventive marketing campaign as a key factor in their decision.
The Children’s Choice Award, as voted for by the other participants on the day, went to St Mary’s Primary School for their design of a high-tech pen attachment which checks pupils’ spelling and calculations. Other children described the product as ‘an incredibly cool idea’ and ‘something which would definitely help us with our work!’.
The judges were particularly impressed with the quality of all of the children’s pitches. Janet Grant, a judge and mentor from the University of Sheffield’s Enterprise Zone, praised the pupils’ presentation skills, which she said rivalled those of undergraduate students.
Scott Woodley, Co-Founder of Tutora and event organiser, said: “It’s great to be able to engage even younger children with the possibility of one day running their own tech companies, especially here in Sheffield.”
The company are now seeking to roll the initiative out nationally, in conjunction with other universities.
“We’d encourage other businesses to get involved with local schools to help build children’s skills and open their eyes to the opportunities available to them,” said Scott. “It’s incredibly rewarding and seeing how open the children are to new ideas reminds us of how we should continue to approach our own business.”
To find out more about the initiative, visit the Tutora blog .