A competition giving one young person the opportunity to turn their business dream into a reality is touring Horsham district schools to encourage entrants.
Young Start-up Talent is open to 16-25-year-olds in the Gatwick Diamond, and is now in its fourth year, offering the winner a package of £50,000 of business tools to get their idea up and running.
Judges and sponsors have been trawling local schools including the Weald School in Billingshurst, and the College of Richard Collyer in Horsham, to encourage A-level students to enter this year’s competition.
Recent winners include Sam French, whose soft-themed gingerbread wowed judges earlier this year, and Tom Williams and James Seear. The pair set up Recyclabook, which buys and sells used textbooks.
Sponsors include the County Times, Gatwick Airport, McDonalds, British Airways, Thales UK, Young Enterprise South East, Horsham District Council, Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Many of the sponsors of the project take an active role in the delivery of assemblies and workshops to inspire young entrepreneurs in the area such as Rebecca Gattinesi, manager of Basepoint Business Centre, Matthew Tyson, director of Richard Place Dobson, Dean Orgil, chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter, and Andrew Hookway, director of Extech.
YST visited Hazelwick School in Crawley recently, and Blaise, a sixth form student, said: “It looks like a great opportunity with lots of benefits even for the people who don’t win”.
Another student Iqra, added: “It’s a great initiative, if I had an idea I would definitely go for it”.
Henry Smith, MP for Crawley and patron of YST, said: “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to be able to display their entrepreneurial ideas and I think it demonstrates the wealth of talent and fresh thinking that is out there and anything we can do to help young start-up businesses is something that I’m always happy to support.”
YST was founded by Lorraine Nugent and Matt Turner managing directors of Media Word Waves and Creative Pod, and the competition’s success has seen it launch in Brighton and Hove, and West Kent.
Reflecting on the assembly, Ms Gattinesi, a former pupil of Hazelwick, said “It has been a pleasure to visit the students and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs to enter this fantastic competition, we look forward to seeing their business entries.”
Head of sixth form at Hazelwick, Mr Chase said: “Young Start-up Talent is a great opportunity for students to take their skills learnt, outside the classroom.”
Students watched a film about last year’s winner, and one teacher said it was a great chance for young people to boost their confidence.
To enter visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk
The deadline for entries is December 31.