Thursday, 8 November 2012

Nurturing enterprise in the next generation

I have always believed that the key to getting the country moving again and creating new jobs is in doing all we can to encourage new business start-ups and to create an environment that allows the next generation of entrepreneurs to flourish. I remember a Cornish farmer once telling me, “you don’t have to be clever to be smart” and he was right. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Britain did not have a university education and did not enter a profession but they had an idea and a natural talent for making things happen coupled with the fortitude to keep going in the face of the inevitable setbacks.

It is why earlier this year I encouraged a number of schools from our area to enter a national competition to come up with a new business idea and design a new product and I was delighted that Hayle Community School took up the challenge. Last time I visited Hayle School I was struck by the emphasis that they placed on developing young enterprise which is something they have made a priority. Last year I tried some of the excellent “Currantly Cornish” ice cream recipe which was developed by students and was on sale in the town.

We had some excellent product ideas developed by Year 10 pupils ranging from sunglasses that change colour in the heat to novel camera bags, swimming goggle carriers, unusual bed and chair designs, a kangaroo style shoe rack, docking stations for remote controls, solar powered dog trackers, a medical history chip and a children’s drawing table.

The entry that we chose to go through to the national competition was the idea of having wireless headphones for ipad devices designed by Charlie Martin and Millie Jenkins with the runner up being a special training football which uses smart sensors to connect to computers and monitor performance which was designed by Jacob Nicholas, Connor Smith and Tom Pascoe.

The next couple of years will see the transformation of Hayle with the regeneration work already well underway on North Quay and work expected to begin on South Quay in the New Year. There is also an advanced plan to develop the potential of the harbour for the fishing industry on East Quay. I have consistently argued in favour of the scheme to regenerate Hayle because the town has been waiting for change all my lifetime.

There will be many new business opportunities created by these changes and some new businesses are already starting to open. I hope that by the time the current Year 10 students at Hayle leave school in a few years time, some of them will choose to develop their enterprising talents further and become their own boss.

George Eustice can be contacted at george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.