Exciting business projects are being dreamed up by budding Dragons’ Den wannabes belonging to Wey Valley School’s Business Enterprise Club, as part of a national competition to find the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The Tenner Challenge provides teams or individuals with £10 to form a start-up business and generate as much profit as they can in a month, while also trying to make a difference and give back to society.

Open to 11-19 year olds, the aim of the challenge is to give young people a taste of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. It gives them a chance to think of a new business idea and make it happen, using real money to take risks in the business field, make a profit – and make a difference. 

Jen Symes teaches Mathematics at Wey Valley and runs the Business Enterprise Club, which takes place after school every Tuesday. The club is designed to provide students with an understanding of how a business works and prepares them for career choices.  

Jen said: “This is our second year in the Tenner Challenge, with 25 students from Years 9 and 10 now signed up for the club – which represents 8% of their age group.

“The students in Year 10 who were novices last year are acting as fantastic mentors for the new members in Year 9, and some of the ideas they’re developing are very innovative.”

Business ideas currently being explored include the design and production of novelty key-rings - using plastic and wood remnants supplied by the school’s technology department - dream catchers, bracelets, Christmas cards, car-washes and cupcakes.

The students have already raised £100 towards the school’s Will Mackaness Trust, which promotes young people’s participation in water activities.  

Jen Symes said: “The club raises members’ awareness of the many crucial aspects of running a business. They have to dream up a workable business idea and then learn through hands-on experience about designing, producing, financing and marketing their project – as well as about risk and evaluation.

“It’s an exciting life lesson and I’m full of admiration for the imagination and perseverance demonstrated by our students.”

Products created by Business Enterprise Club members will be on sale at Christmas Fairs across the Weymouth Area and winners of the Tenner Challenge will be announced next May.