Cumbria’s MPs had their own Question Time sessions online with primary school pupils to launch the 2022 Bright Stars business challenge programme that invited the tiny tycoons to ‘make a profit and make a difference’ running their own social enterprise businesses.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, met with youngsters from Asby Endowed School and Morland Area Church of England Primary School, to talk about how he supports communities and leads change.
Pupils asked about a wide range of subjects from life as a vet and how he became an MP to national issues and climate change.
More than 60 primary schools across Cumbria are taking part in Bright Stars 2022, which partners pupils with local businesses to run their own mini social enterprises designed to make a profit and a difference.
Now in its 10th year, the Centre for Leadership Performance-run scheme, lasts eight week and introduces primary school pupils to the world of work in a dun and accessible way.
Dr Neil Hudson MP, said:
“It was such a treat to meet with youngsters from Asby and Morland who all asked some really thoughtful questions.
“Bright Stars is a great initiative that provides children with positive role models from thriving local businesses, ultimately raising aspirations and giving young people dreams – all while creating good within their own community.
“Businesses are the backbone of this country and it’s great to see Cumbrian children being given an insight on business and social enterprise from such a young age – I have no doubt that many of the pupils I met will go on to be the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future.”
Centre for Leadership Performance, Executive Director, Sarah Glass said:
“For the children connecting directly with their local MPs is a huge bonus and boosts their confidence and engagement with the programme. The Bright Stars collaboration with Cumbrian businesses and organisations brings them closer to their local communities and the youngsters who are their future workforce. Their support also helps to fund the programme, which is encouraging the leaders of tomorrow.”
About the project:
Now in its tenth year, Bright Stars was co-created by the Centre for Leadership Performance in partnership with businesses to nurture a culture of aspiration, leadership and enterprise amongst primary school pupils. It has been hugely successful with than 1,500 pupils taking part last year.
The eight-week programme introduces Cumbrian primary school pupils to leadership, social entrepreneurship and teamwork and gets them excited about the world of business in a fun accessible way. It enables children to meet positive role models and raises their aspirations and awareness of local careers, provides leadership opportunities and encourages young people to make a positive impact in their local communities.
Each school is given £50 in ‘seed money’ to start their social enterprise businesses which start trading on Tuesday May 3rd and must complete the challenge on Friday June 24th.
Causes and campaigns the children chose to support and champion in 2021 ranged from improving road safety, encouraging recycling and welcoming wildlife to reaching out to support lonely people and the homeless.
Organised and project-managed by CforLP and delivered and funded in partnership with local businesses, the programme has delivered huge benefits for children by enriching the school curriculum spanning subjects including English, maths, science and art, while giving them the chance to be leaders and encouraging the children to ‘dream BIG’.
The programme is supported by Sellafield Ltd and BAE Systems which encourage their supply chain partners to take part by advising and guiding the children as they create businesses designed to ‘make a difference’ to something that matters to them. Cumbria Community Foundation also provides funding to encourage more charities and micro businesses to take part and connect with the young entrepreneurs in their communities.