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‘Dragon’ Peter Jones turns charitable


Entrepreneur and Dragons' Den judge Peter Jones today announced he will be donating £100,000 of his own money to 'Make Your Mark With a Tenner', a government-backed campaign which aims to give young people the opportunity to become entrepreneurs.

Peter Jones and Business Minister Shriti Vadera made the announcement during a visit to Slough and Eton Business and Enterprise College, which specialises in providing enterprise education.

The visit highlighted the vital role that an enterprising culture, including schools, will have if the UK is to become the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

The government and Peter Jones are already working together on a National Enterprise Academy, which will open its doors for an initial trial in January, which will be based in the South East of England. It aims to give young people over the age of 16 the skills and confidence needed to run their own business and be successful in work.

During the visit Peter and Shriti met and talked to students who are learning about enterprise. Business

Entrepreneur Peter Jones said: "I know that everyone has something to offer as we work to boost the culture of enterprise in the UK and become the most enterprising economy in the world. We need a change in mindset and move from a 'Can I?' approach to an 'I can' belief.

"I want the National Enterprise Academy to provide young people with the right practical skills for business, but also inspire them to become the next top entrepreneurs. Bringing the boardroom into the classroom is key if we're to meet the challenge of growing the UK economy."

Minister Shriti Vadera added: "Getting young people interested in enterprise and business is very important if we're to be the most enterprising nation in the world.

"The new enterprise academy and the renewed emphasis that we are placing on promoting enterprise in schools will make a real difference in developing the next generation of Peter Jones'.

"Britain is already a good place to start and grow a business, but I know that we need to do more to be the best. And as part of our efforts, developing a culture of enterprise at schools, colleges and in the workplace is vital."

Peter Jones' £100,000 will be donated to the 'Make Your Mark With a Tenner' campaign, a national competition run by Make Your Mark, which gives students the opportunity to run 'real life' businesses. Next year the aim is to give up to 50,000 students £10 each and ask them to generate as much profit and social impact as they can in just one month. In the 2007 competition one participant made an impressive £410 of profit.

Peter Jones will also lead an Enterprise Day as part of this year's Shine festival, which is England's National Schools Festival, which will be a week long showcase of all the talents of all young people.

Government supports the wide range of activities to promote enterprise for young people and others under the Make Your Mark campaign, which is run by Enterprise Insight, and funded by the Department for Business.

A series of measures were recently unveiled as part of the Government's enterprise strategy aimed at promoting a culture of enterprise, which included:

* A further £30 million to support the expansion of enterprise education to primary schools and further education institutions, which is in addition to the £180 million already ear-marked for secondary schools and supporting networks for the next three years.

* The National Enterprise Academy for which the Government will contribute an initial £3 - 4 million of capital funding. Subject to approval of the final business plan, the further public contribution to the capital and ongoing running costs will be met by the Learning and Skills Council as part of the wider National Skills Academy programme.

* Funding for the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship to establish a national network of university enterprise clusters

* Tailored support for young entrepreneurs, the over 50s and women

* Working with the English Premier League to promote enterprise education through football clubs' community programmes.


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