Monday, July 26, 2010

News: Rotherham named most enterprising place in Yorkshire


Rotherham has won the regional heats of the prestigious Enterprising Britain awards.

Enterprising school children and young entrepreneurs from the town wowed a panel of tough, private sector judges last week to help secure Rotherham's crown as "The Most Enterprising Place in Yorkshire."

Primary and secondary school pupils told the panel how enterprise education was making a difference to their aspirations, and then Young Entrepreneur Luci Bennett described how she successfully developed her own fashion label, Roc and Doll.

Their stories showed how Rotherham has the complete package for developing enterprise - with Rotherham Ready inspiring children about business as soon as they start school, and Rotherham Youth Enterprise providing all the support young people need to make their business dreams a reality.

Rotherham is home to some of the most deprived communities in the region, but has been undergoing a profound shift in culture, due to almost 54,000 enterprise interventions in schools between Rotherham Ready and Rotherham Youth Enterprise in the last five years.

Rotherham Ready, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has trained hundreds of teachers to develop enterprise in schools and colleges, and harnessed the passion of the business community to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship in education.

An astounding 103 schools and colleges in Rotherham have also achieved the Warwick Award for Excellence in Enterprise Education - the quality mark for enterprise learning.

Rotherham Youth Enterprise provides start up support, business coaching and incubation workspace for young entrepreneurs - enabling 232 youngsters to start businesses in the last five years.

The group were up against tough competition in the final from enterprise projects from Leeds, Airedale and Cottingley. But the panel of seven judges unanimously agreed that Rotherham was the winner.

They said they were 'blown away' by the presentation about enterprise in schools and, which was 'professional' and 'inspirational.'

Jackie Frost, Rotherham Ready Manager and Enterprise Projects Manager for the Council said: "Winning this award is well deserved recognition for the effort and passion of everyone involved in developing enterprise in Rotherham.

"Young people in Rotherham need to be enterprising - more so now than ever - and people from education and business involved with Rotherham Ready and Rotherham Youth Enterprise have been working to make sure that young people leave school, college or university ready for the challenges and opportunities of life, and ready to help shape the economy of Rotherham.

"Developing a culture of enterprise is only possible when people from across the local authority and the borough work together to make a difference. This award has been achieved because of that spirit of team work and passion. We give our warmest thanks and sincerest congratulations to everyone involved."

John Vincent - Yorkshire Forward Board Member and chair of the Regional Judging Panel said: "The success of Rotherham Ready demonstrates what can be achieved if people work together to improve the social and economic prospects of their community.

During August the Rotherham team will go up against the other eleven regional finalists from around the UK for the Enterprising Britain 2010 national title. The overall winner will then go on to represent the UK at the European Enterprise Awards next year.

Rotherham Ready website



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