New generation of Bristol business stars get a boost from small firms’ chief
"I was so blown away by the calibre of these kids that I thought it was something that we had to get behind"
The next generation of retailers are getting their foot on the ladder thanks to the Bristol chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Ken Simpson.
It has been well over a year since he was re-elected to serve another 12 months in the position, when his election was unopposed.
Now, through the FSB, he’s focused on helping teenage entrepreneurs get their first taste of business success.
“We’ve been quite heavily involved with the Young Enterprise scheme in schools,” he says, “helping students take on extra-curricular work setting up a proper company, issuing shares and so on.
“We put up a prize for the best school in Bristol – £300 for seed capital for this year and £200 for the winners, a school from Backwell, which they’ve actually put back into this year’s competition entry.
“That shows how much the students put into this.
“It’s a really good thing because it helps students get into the world of commerce and business, rather than going down an academic route.
“Because some youngsters are ideally suited to running a business and it’s really inspiring to be involved with it.
“We’ve done some funding, but we also have teams of businessmen who act as coaches to the schools that were involved.
“It’s been happening in other areas, but I’ve promoted the FSB’s involvement with it in Bristol.
“I was so blown away by the calibre of these kids that I thought it was something that we had to get behind, because they are our future members.”