The Fiver Challenge: pupils to start own business with a £5 loan

Young Enterprise, BIS and Virgin Money partner to launch enterprise challenge for primary school children

The Fiver Challenge: pupils to start own business with a £5 loan

There appears sound logic in the argument that the earlier you get on the road to making your first million, the quicker you’ll get there. With this in mind, Young Enterprise last year introduced the thrill of entrepreneurialism to around 15,000 secondary school students with the Tenner Challenge. Now, in light of its success, and with sustained calls being made for enterprise skills to be taught at all levels, the Fiver Challenge has been launched for our youngest of budding business stars. 

Run in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Virgin Money, the Fiver Challenge offers primary school pupils the chance to set up their own business with the help of – you guessed it – a fiver. The initiative is designed to encourage school children to develop valuable enterprise skills such as teamwork and problem-solving, whilst also aiming to promote entrepreneurship as something they can aspire to. It builds upon Virgin Money’s ‘Make £5 Grow‘ scheme that was launched last year and has already reached around 5,000 school children, an indication that it could be as successful as the Tenner scheme.

Around 20,000 children from 500 primary schools across the UK are expected to take part in the Fiver Challenge by creating products or services to sell at a profit, which they are allowed to keep, before returning the original loan to the Fiver Bank. 

Matthew Hancock, the skills and enterprise minister said: “It’s important that young people gain the skills and experience they need to help them understand what it means to run a business and to do it successfully.”

Lord Young, the prime minister’s enterprise advisor, echoed these sentiments, stressing his belief that a society and education system that fosters and values enterprise is vital if young people are to be fit and ready for the real world when they leave school, college or university.

There is a lot more that can certainly be done to boost the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit in schools but the Fiver scheme is a commendable start. 

It’s certainly never too early to get that Charlie Mullins attitude going. 

Dara Jegede
Dara Jegede

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