Creating the next generation of entrepreneurs – for £10

Make Your Mark with a Tenner is a national competition where 20,000 young people, aged under 19, from schools and youth organisations across the UK will be each loaned £10 and challenged to turn their loan into a larger sum while helping other people, both through their enterprising activity and by investing their subsequent projects into a good cause.

Today’s launch was marked by a giant piggybank full of £10 notes taking residence outside the Royal Exchange. School children from London will collect their £10 loans from the tenner bank and get the opportunity to speed-network with entrepreneurs.

Former Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry (who recently launched Chiconomise.com, a money-saving newsletter for women) is on hand today to field questions and offer advice.

The competition is supported by NESTA and funded by big-name backers, including serial entrepreneur and star of Dragons’ Den Peter Jones – who himself ran his first business before he was 18 – and Michael and Xochi Birch, the inspirational founders of social networking site Bebo. Having put a total of £200,000 into the "Tenner Bank", some 20,000 school children stand to benefit from the scheme: that means 20,000 budding young entrepreneurs.

Oli Barrett, entrepreneur and founder of Make Your Mark with a Tenner, says: “Make Your Mark with a Tenner encourages young people to put a small amount of money to good use, with the chance of making a significant return, in stark contrast to the current economic crisis. Each participant will make the most of their own skills and talents, and experience first-hand what it’s like to turn an idea into a real money-making project.”

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