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School and college learners recruited for social enterprise challenge

Students in the UK are being given a chance to develop their skills as young social entrepreneurs in a new contest.

The ‘Be the Future Challenge’ – entries closing on Friday – has been launched by education company Pearson in partnership with the Peter Jones Foundation. School and college learners are being encouraged to submit a social enterprise idea that addresses a social or environmental issue, such as poverty, climate change or equality. “We want to hear your ideas for a social enterprise that could work to resolve these issues,” organisers said.

The idea must link to one of the UN’s sustainable development goals and it must be able to make a profit through selling a product or service. 

Entries will be reviewed for their creativity and innovation, viability, sustainability and impact. The top entries will win an invitation to attend online workshops hosted by the Peter Jones Foundation, with the opportunity to meet and hear from leading social entrepreneurs.

The business and enterprise sector offers a wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president BTEC and apprenticeships at Pearson, said: “With SMEs and the gig economy making a significant contribution to the UK economy, the business and enterprise sector offers a wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities. The sector also allows for important developments in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces, particularly for women.  

“Through our competition, in collaboration with Peter Jones Foundation, learners will benefit from insights and advice from industry experts which will further support their progression and career aspirations.”

The competition is open to students at Key Stages 1 to 5 at schools and colleges in the UK. More details, including how to enter – as well as various 'learner resources' for aspiring social entrepreneurs – are available here. Entries for the challenge close on Friday 3 July at 5pm.

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