Peter Jones hits back at 'anti-enterprise education losers' with new version of Tenner scheme

Dan Martin
Former editor
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Peter Jones, who last year launched an angry tirade against bureaucracy in schools, has launched his own version of the young enterprise scheme he used to run as part of a government-backed organisation. 

The Dragons' Den star has set up Tycoon in Schools through which, with the help of £100,000 of his own money, pupils will have one month to start a business and make a profit.

At the close of the competition, students will repay their original loans to the 'Tycoon Bank', and remaining profits will be used by the school or donated to charity.

Jones has form in this area. He previously ran Tycoon Tenner, also known as Tenner and Make Your Mark With A Tenner, as part of his leadership of the now dufunct government-backed agency Enterprise UK.

In January, it was announced that Tenner was being put on hold and a few days later, Jones angrily tweeted: "Anyone who try's [sic] to prevent encouraging enterprise in schools must be sidelined or sacked.

"I might start naming & shaming those who hinder my campaign of encouraging enterprise in schools if I don't get what I want #wontbestopped."
Oli Barrett, who founded the original Tenner scheme, claimed that the entrepreneur "became frustrated by the process conducted by the [Enterprise UK] trustees and ultimately decided that he wanted to go his own way".
Commenting on his new initiative, Jones said: "For too long schools across Britain have been calling out for an enterprise challenge to encourage their young people to 'dream big'.
"Enterprise is the missing piece of the jigsaw in schools today. You can’t start early enough when it comes to learning about enterprise and through Tycoon in Schools we hope to reach young people of all ages and inspire them to realise their potential.
"This is just the beginning of an exciting new campaign to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs to go for it. Our aim is to grow the competition each year, involving more schools and young people across the country and inspiring them to live out their entrepreneurial dreams."
The Tycoon in Schools competition will start on 1 November.
Applications for organisations wishing to take over the original Tenner scheme closed on 15 June. It is not yet known whether it will be revived. 

UPDATE (03/07/12) has spoken to Cedric Kennedy, a trustee at Enterprise UK, who revealed that an announcement will be made on 6 July about which organisation is taking over the running of Tenner.

When questioned about the impact of the launch of Peter Jones' new scheme, he said "anything which supports young enterprise is welcome". However, he added, "Tenner has been running for a long time and has substantial support, so we have a bit of a head start on Peter Jones".


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