STUDENTS were given the chance to pitch business ideas to Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold.
The entrepreneur visited Bridgemary School, in Gosport, and judged the pupils’ business plans along with Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.
The Year 9 teenagers, also from Brune Park School, spent the morning coming up with ideas for a new Gosport enterprise in an event designed to inspire them to consider a future in business.
Jacqueline said: ‘Events like this are so important to inspiring young women.
‘It is essential the students learn about business and what they can do because in my experience women just don’t realise how fantastic they are.
‘I hope that the girls think “I can run my own business and be successful”.
I hope that the girls think “I can run my own business and be successful”Jacqueline Gold
‘There is nothing special about me and I was able to do it.’
As well as Jacqueline and Ms Dinenage, the school also welcomed other mentors from different areas of business.
The students enjoyed meeting them and learning what they do.
Felicity Gille, from Brune Park, said: ‘I found this event exciting because I really enjoy using my own thoughts to create something. Meeting the mentors was good – they were great role models.’
Fellow student Alegria Tracey added: ‘The talks from the guests were inspiring. It was nice to hear how their career advice wasn’t always that good but they did what they wanted and were successful.’
Ms Dinenage, who ran her own business before getting involved in politics, said she was impressed with the students’ business plans.
‘They came up with some really great concepts and they worked hard to create them,’ she said.
‘The event was about showing the girls that we are normal women from normal backgrounds who can work to be successful.
‘I want them to believe in themselves and know that they can aspire to do anything.’