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Bright Stars tiny tycoons

Organised by the Centre for Leadership Performance, Bright Stars 2017 introduces pupils as young as five to the excitement of running their own mini-companies, at the same time encouraging entrepreneurship and building confidence and aspirations.

We firmly believe that supporting the talents of all our young people is vital to the future economy of Cumbria and we were delighted to support the Bright Stars project once again.

Every Bright Stars participant school is initially given £50 with one simple instruction – to make it grow through investment and creativity over the course of eight weeks and turn the cash stake into big money for their chosen charity.

This year we were proud to support two local schools as we were once again partnered with the pupils of St Michael’s C of E Primary School and gained new entrants, the pupils of Wiggonby C of E School.  We were thrilled that both our partner schools decided to nominate the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), David Allen’s Charity of the Year to benefit from their business success.

The eight weeks of trading culminated on Monday 13 March, with the winners announced on Friday 17 March.

St Michael’s C of E Primary School

St Michael’s school were mentored by our Accounts Senior, Hannah Jackson.  From the outset of the project their aim was to create a sustainable business.  They decided to launch an events management company because that tied in with some of the aims they already had in school, this meant that they could explore lots of different business roles and include a large number of pupils in the activities they arranged.

St Michael’s raised £644.34 in total from a variety of events including a family film night, quiz night and a healthy heart day.  Half of the profits raised will be donated to the GNAAS with the remainder retained by the school.

Wiggonby C of E School

Wiggonby were mentored by our Business Development Manager, Kerrie Allison.  Following an initial briefing they set out to create a professionally printed greeting card business.  Recognising that online shopping is a key market, ‘Astracards’ created a website utilising PayPal which allowed them to sell worldwide and seen them receive orders from as far as Australia and South Africa.  They also went on to develop a range of handmade, luxury chocolates and other bespoke items such as bookmarks to sell alongside their cards.

The total profit they generated was £790.62 which, like St Michael’s they will split equally between the GNAAS and the school.

Successfully securing ‘Judges Favourite’ the pupils of Wiggonby School were deservedly delighted.  All of their hard work has paid off and they will continue to trade beyond the competition, which was always the intention of the school.

There were five winning categories overall which included:

  • Most Profitable Business – Gosforth CE Primary School
  • Best Effort – Houghton C of E Primary School
  • Best Example of Team Work and Leadership – Monkray Junior School
  • Best Business Idea – Frizington Community School
  • Judges Favourite – Wiggonby C E Primary School

Each winning school will receive £500 to spend within their schools.  Importantly the prizes are awarded not just for raising the most money but also for demonstrating commitment and imaginative ideas.

Kerrie Allison, Business Development Manager at David Allen said: “As a well-known, reputable employer across Cumbria, David Allen is a keen advocate of supporting schools and colleges.  We recognise the importance of investing in the next generation and the Bright Stars project, organised by the Centre for Leadership Performance does just that.  We were delighted to participate again and were proud of what both St Michael’s C of E Primary School and Wiggonby C of E School achieved.  I have no doubt that I have had the pleasure of working with future leaders of our County in these budding entrepreneurs!”

To learn more about Bright Stars visit

Posted: March 21st, 2017

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