The Fiver Challenge: pupils to start own business with a £5 loan

The Fiver Challenge will give thousands of pupils aged up to 11 the chance to set up their own business and learn about the world of enterprise.

20,000 children from 500 primary schools across the UK are expected to take part this year by creating products or services to sell at a profit – which they are allowed to keep – and then return the original loan to the Fiver Bank. It is run by Young Enterprise in partnership with Virgin Money and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The first round of the challenge will run in June 2014 with a national award ceremony in September for top entrepreneurs.

The scheme was announced on the same day Lord Young formally launched a review of enterprise activities in education at a visit to Lauriston Primary School in Hackney. The review will make recommendations on how to inspire more people with the entrepreneurial spirit needed to succeed in employment or enterprise.

The Prime Minister’s Enterprise Advisor, Lord Young, said: A society and an education system which fosters and values enterprise is vital if young people are to be fit and ready for the real world when they leave school, college or university. I will be looking across the education system to see what more can be done to boost our entrepreneurial spirit and will report back to the Prime Minister in the summer.

I am delighted that government has been able to provide funding and partner up with Young Enterprise and Virgin Money to fund this innovative scheme – who knows, maybe I’ve met the CEO of the next Virgin or Google in Lauriston School this morning.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: It’s important that young people gain the skills and experience they need to help them understand what it means to run a business and to do it successfully.

The new Fiver Challenge and Lord Young’s upcoming Enterprise Education review support the government’s drive to build a culture of enterprise and I hope this will inspire a new generation to consider entrepreneurship as a career option.

From my experience kids can be incredibly enterprising, I can’t wait to see what ideas they come up with.

Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said:Ever since we launched Tenner, which runs in March and suits secondary schools best, we have received many requests from primary teachers to create something similar in June – which is much more convenient for primary schools.