Tenner Tycoon 2011 launches

The Tenner Tycoon competition donates the money for a month for budding entrepreneurs to use make as much profit or social impact as possible. Backed by Dragons' Den entrepreneur Peter Jones, the competition aims to promote enterprise among young people at a time when many futures look bleak.

New research by charity Enterprise UK, in support of Tenner Tycoon, revealed attitudes to entrepreneurship in Britain's secondary schools. The report polled over 1,000 14-19 year olds during February and one in four said that they learn more about business from TV shows like Dragon's Den than from their school.

Perhaps more worryingly, at a time when 965,000 16-24 year olds are out of work - only 25% said they felt that their school encourages them to be entrepreneurial.

"The research presented here concerns me because I firmly believe that our young people have talent and drive and we should be backing them to succeed," said Dragon Peter Jones. "This is why I am championing enterprise education to give a new generation of students the know-how and life skills to make a real difference for themselves and others."

As well as teaching business skills, Tenner Tycoon, also encourages schoolchildren to give something back by using their profits to either help their local community or donate them to charity.

The competition has been running since 2007, and growing si "It's going to be the best one yet. Peter's stepped up his involvement this year and we have more people taking part than ever before," said Oli Barret who has been involved with the project since it started.

"Last year we had two girls make over £500 in one month by recycling mobile phones," he said.

Tom Bewick, CEO of Enterprise UK said: "We need to do a better job of equipping our young people for the workplace or help them start something for themselves. This year it is arguably more important than ever given the latest concerning statistics which put youth unemployment at 20.5 per cent, the highest figure since records began in 1992."

Tom hopes that Tenner Tycoon will raise the profile of business with young people, but he realises that much more could be done: "What is needed is a new Youth Investment Trust, to replace the Student Loans Company. This would provide young people with state subsidised loans for a variety of purposes other than access to higher education, including start-up capital for new business."

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