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Dragons' Apprentice Challenge spreads to Hertsmere
A challenge to help discover the next Deborah Meaden or Alan Sugar is being rolled out across the county.
Young people from Hertsmere aged between 16 and 17 now have the chance to take part in the Dragons’ Apprentice Scheme, thanks to a £23,000 grant from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
In the project, teams of students are paired with local business leaders or dragons and a charity or community group.
Each group is given £100 and set the challenge of turning it into £1,000 or more with a genuine business proposal.
With direction from their dragons, the students learn about entrepreneurship, managing a business, communications, finance, organisation and other job-related skills.
Hertfordshire LEP board member and 'super dragon' Graham Lane described the scheme as a way of creating a dialogue between schools, businesses and young people and equipping school leavers for the working world.
He said: “I’m delighted that the LEP is supporting the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge.
“The scheme provides local youngsters with a golden opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills for their future.
“As a dragon I’ve witnessed the fresh ideas and enthusiasm young people can bring to a business first hand. It’s a very rewarding scheme to be part of.”
Since the challenge began five years ago in St Albans it has spread across the county’s ten districts.
In that time, it has generated more than £114,000 for 64 different charities in Hertfordshire.
Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge project manager Penny Mortimer said: “The LEP’s financial support has enabled us to run the challenge in new areas and provides a fantastic opportunity to help young people develop their talent.
“The challenge has attracted the attention of local authorities across the country and Europe and we’re hoping that Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge will continue to expand.”
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