ROTHERHAM has beaten off stiff competition from across the UK to be crowned the Most Enterprising Place in Britain 2010.
An initiative which teaches four-year-olds about enterprise wowed a panel of private sector judges to take the top prize in the prestigious Enterprising Britain competition.
Enterprise education programme Rotherham Ready entered the competition under the category of ‘enterprise culture’, showcasing the town’s achievements over the last five years in inspiring children and young people about business.
On Monday, the results were announced at a ceremony at the House of Lords attended by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills minister Mark Prisk.
Lauren Stanley (11) and James Wass (13) from St Bernard's Catholic High School, their enterprising teacher Kevin Wright and Rotherham young entrepreneur Dominic Beck (18) were there to hear the results, along with the borough council’s enterprise projects manager Jackie Frost and Rotherham Ready project officer Catherine Brentnall.
Jackie said: “Winning this award is richly 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 we thank everyone who has worked so hard to help create a culture of enterprise in the town.”
Now in its sixth year, the national competition run rewards organisations that have tackled the economic downturn head-on and are successfully creating jobs, boosting local business and nurturing entrepreneurial talent.
Three judges visited the town in October to learn more about Rotherham Ready, hearing from school and college students about how they are mentored by entrepreneurs.
Businesses, entrepreneurs, teachers and partners also showed how they work together to support the development of enterprise in education from aged four upwards.
Rotherham was also able to demonstrate that its success could be replicated elsewhere having successfully launched Hull Ready in 2008 and delivering enterprise training to Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Warrington, Liverpool and Spain.
Catherine added: “Creating a culture of enterprise is a national aspiration and we have shown in Rotherham how that can be done.
“There will never be more entrepreneurs or more business start-ups unless we excite children about these opportunities and help them develop the skills and aspirations to chase them.
“Rotherham is home to some of the most deprived communities in the UK but has been undergoing a profound shift in culture, due to almost 54,000 enterprise interventions in schools 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.
More than 100 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 has enabled 232 youngsters to start businesses in the last five years.
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