Tuesday, November 16, 2010

News: Rotherham named as the most enterprising place in Britain


Rotherham's status as a world-leader in enterprise education has been recognised at a national awards ceremony that has named the borough as the most enterprising place in the UK.

The prestigious Enterprising Britain competition recognises and rewards local organisations that have worked together to drive the social and economic transformation of a place. Now in its sixth year, it is a key part of the Government's drive to increase entrepreneurial activity in the UK and a major part of Global Enterprise Week.

Rotherham was named the most enterprising place in Yorkshire in July after enterprising school children and young entrepreneurs from the town wowed a panel of tough, private sector judges.

In October three judges visited Rotherham to find out more about the project and colleagues from the council, teachers and head teachers, children and young people, young entrepreneurs and members of the business community helped to bring the project to life and show the impact that enterprise is having in Rotherham.

Jackie Frost, Rotherham Council's Enterprise Projects Manager said: "This award means so much to the people of Rotherham and we are absolutely delighted to win.

"Enterprising Britain has not only been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved through Rotherham Ready; it has enabled us to share what we have learnt to inspire other communities that want to embrace enterprise."

Primary and secondary school pupils told the panel how enterprise education was making a difference to their aspirations, and 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 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 awards were announced at the House of Lords at a ceremony attended by Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise and Peter Jones. A delegation from Rotherham including Jackie Frost, Rotherham Ready Project Officer Catherine Brentnall, Lauren Stanley and James Wass, students from St Bernard's Catholic High School, their enterprising teacher Kevin Wright and Rotherham young entrepreneur Dominic Beck were there to hear the results.

Tom Bewick, CEO of Enterprise UK, who run the competition on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, said: "Rotherham Ready and all of the projects that entered this year's Enterprising Britain competition are great examples of organisations working collaboratively to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to take up the challenge to make a job, rather than take a job.

"Today we are celebrating their accomplishments and throughout this week during Global Entrepreneurship Week, we will challenge more communities, policymakers, education, business and the investment community to back Britain's entrepreneurs and to make this the entrepreneurial decade."

After beating 11 other finalists from across the UK, the Rotherham team will now go on to represent the UK at the European Enterprise Awards next year.

Rotherham was named the most enterprising place in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2006 and Scarborough was named the most enterprising place in the UK in 2008.

Rotherham Ready website


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