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Young entrepreneurs set to work on businesses

Young Entrepreneurs Set To Work On Business (3)STUDENTS have been inspired by one of the world’s most dynamic businessmen in a programme designed to promote entrepreneurial zeal.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money has lent Year 5 students at Bede Academy Primary, in Blyth, £5 with which to launch their own mini enterprises.

They will have the next three months to come up with money-making ideas, organise a product or service and make a profit before paying back the interest-free loan to Virgin Money

The scheme, run from Virgin Money’s Gosforth office, has so far touched the lives of more than 10,000 students who have returned profits ranging from £20 to £1,600.

“Sir Richard Branson started when he was young with very little and now has a company that operates a bank, airline, trains service, music industry and is even exploring space travel,” said Virgin Money team leader Angela O’Shea.

“Make a Fiver Grow seeks to ignite little brains so they become the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Young Entrepreneurs Set To Work On Business (2)Bede Academy teacher Louise Elliott said:

“It is a great opportunity for our students, particularly in the run up to Christmas. They can choose anything they like but must allocate the money wisely so they return a profit and can pay Virgin Money back.

“It is a brilliant idea as they will have to work as a team and allocate different roles to each member. They will have to produce something of a quality that people will be willing to buy, which will be challenging. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

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Scottish Referendum Vote at Bede Academy

Scottish Referendum  (2)POLITICALLY minded students at a Northumbrian Academy just 60 miles from the Scottish border have had their say on the independence referendum – and voted overwhelmingly no.

Over 1,000 students at Bede Academy, Blyth, were given the opportunity to voice their opinions on whether Scotland should gain its independence or remain part of the UK in a whole school ballot.

Scottish Referendum  (4)Both sides of the debate were forcefully and informatively represented during two days of school assemblies by students Lauren Moffett, 16, presenting the case for a ‘Yes’ vote and Matthew Butcher, 16, fronting the opposing ‘No’ campaign.

Bede Academy Principal Gwyneth Evans said:

“Any referendum is rare so it is important that our students have the opportunity to understand exactly what the voting process means and the importance and privilege of democracy.

“It is also important that we help them to become active citizens and have a voice in political decisions that will affect them in the future by ensuring that they understand the issues raised and have a balanced point of view in their decision making.”

The result of the student vote was announced by Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell, who confirmed an overwhelming majority of 751 votes for the No campaign with only 282 students supporting the idea of Scottish independence.

“It was a great pleasure to be invited to be part of Bede Academy’s independence vote and I was immensely pleased with the outcome of their ballot,” said Mr Campbell.

“It has been 300 years since Scotland became part of the UK and whatever the outcome of the main vote it will change the face of politics for a very long time.”

Students at Bede Academy were waiting after their result yesterday (Thurs) to see if their vote mirrored that of the Scottish people.

Scottish Referendum (3)Matthew, who led the ‘No’ campaign and is also a member of the Northumberland Youth Council, said:

“I am delighted with the result of the school ballot and that the majority of students thought it was better for Scotland to remain as part of the UK.

“Nobody takes a team that works well together and splits it up – we will be much stronger staying together.”

‘Yes’ campaign leader Lauren added:

“I think I put forward a strong case for Scottish independence but I couldn’t persuade the majority of students that it was a good idea.

“Having this debate around the referendum has been a great political learning opportunity and really helped us to understand the voting system and how important it is to have the right information to be able to make the right choices.”