News & Events

Search begins for Devon’s Future Entrepreneurs

Young Enterprise launch Company Programme 2017/18 at Exeter School

The young entrepreneurs from across Devon who are set to launch and run businesses as part of this year’s Young Enterprise Company Programme have been unveiled.

Launched this week at Exeter School, Young Enterprise gives 15-19 year olds across the county the chance to create and run their own company, doing everything from raising funds and carrying out market research, to creating their product or service and trading.

Taking part are teams from Cullompton Community College, Devon Young Carers, Honiton Community College, Ilfracombe Academy, Park School and PETROC in Barnstaple, St Cuthbert Mayne School in Torquay, Tiverton High School, and Exeter College, Exeter School, Maynards School, St James School and West Exe School from Exeter.

Each is backed by a local business or organisation, with Anglo-Krempel, Bishop Fleming, Devon Contract Waste, Exeter City Council, GSI, Hepcomotion, Met Office, TCS (CRO) Ltd and TDK Lambda all getting involved to provide funding and, or, business advisers to work with the Devon teams.

Marian Weston, Young Enterprise Manager for Exeter, said: “Britain has an enviable track record of nurturing some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. In a competitive global economy, we need to be doing all we can to encourage the next generation. The best way to do that is getting stuck in and running a business for yourself and, with the support of some fantastic organisations, that is what Young Enterprise Devon allows youngsters to do.”

Teams work through the school year on their business, attending trade fairs and local finals, with the chance to then progress to the Devon County Finals at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth next May, with one school going on to the South West Regional Finals, at the Met Office in Exeter.

This year Young Enterprise Devon is stepping up its efforts to encourage more schools to join the Company Programme and more businesses to get involved to support, including sponsorship opportunities and providing business adviser support.


Stuart Mackintosh, Head of Department for Business and Economics at Exeter School, said: “As a teacher, it is great watching how our future entrepreneurs go about tackling some of the many issues involved in setting up a business. Students have to grapple with the real-life challenges of raising capital for the business, dealing with customers and suppliers and keeping a business viable and profitable. They learn so much through the programme, well beyond what can be provided in the classroom.”

Alison Dale, a business adviser from Bishop Fleming, said: “Schools are under huge pressures but it’s vital that they give our young people opportunities to develop real business skills as early as possible. We need to ignite the entrepreneurial spark in as many young people across Devon as we can. It’s vital for our economy but of course it’s also brilliant learning, giving youngsters employability skills that will help them in their future careers. The mentoring aspect of Young Enterprise is also great for companies looking to build links with schools, and develop their own future leaders.”

There are still opportunities for schools to join and for businesses looking to help young people in Devon. Email to find out more.

Steve Kelly, Lead Auditor at the Met Office, volunteers as a business adviser.

He said: “It’s initiatives like Young Enterprise that make students realise how valuable their efforts really are. In doing something that’s not part of the school curriculum, they discover how they can push their own boundaries, broaden their real-life skills and have fun along the way.”

The launch at Exeter School saw students, teachers, volunteer Business Advisers and other supporters of Young Enterprise come together, connect and take part in workshops at the start of this year’s programme.

Exeter School’s team with their fashion brand created for 2017.