Dragons’ Den star to help enterprising Portsmouth students set up in business

GOOD NEWS Simon Paine with students
GOOD NEWS Simon Paine with students
The winning team - from left: Oscar, Benjamin, Rain and Alex

Towering ideas as Southsea school pupils take on challenge

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PORTSMOUTH’S further education college is joining forces with Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones to help students set up their own businesses.

Highbury College is recruiting for its Peter Jones Enterprise Academy to give Btec enterprise and entrepreneurship students the chance to develop their ideas into successful businesses.

Simon Paine, the head of the college’s new centre for entrepreneurship, which will run the academy, said: ‘It’s a practical course.

‘Students will be meeting business people on a regular basis and learning enterprise skills on real projects.

‘It’s not about growing our own dragon entrepreneurs, it’s more about building the ability of young people to have more control of their own futures.

‘Whether they continue as entrepreneurs or not, they will be employable by the end of this course. 

‘They will have initiative, the ability to make things happen, a network of contacts and an understanding of what’s involved in running a business.

‘This will put them way ahead of their peers.’

The centre will aim to increase the college’s links with businesses and is set to announce a programme of support for entrepreneurs in the near future.

It is being launched at the same time as the Federation of Small Businesses embarks on its campaign to champion ‘real-life entrepreneurs’ in the region.

The federation’s development manager Neil Eames said: ‘Anyone who has a good idea and takes a risk to put that idea in practice, and grow a business, is an entrepreneur.

‘The government must focus policies on stimulating growth by creating a culture of entrepreneurship and enabling the smallest of businesses to flourish across the UK.’

For more information on the course, which starts January 23, email info@highbury.ac.uk or call (023) 9238 3131.