Developing young people and supporting local charities

The Suffolk Apprentice Project: Developing young people and supporting local charities

A competition has been launched in Suffolk with the aim of providing the winner with help and support in setting up their own business.

The Suffolk Apprentice Project was launched in April and eight candidates, all with a business idea, have been recruited from local colleges, sixth forms and the University of Suffolk. Over the next eight months, all will compete in a monthly task with one lucky winner picking up a prize of £5,000 plus a full package of support including coaching, accountancy and a website and E-commerce platform for the first year.

The project was the idea of Founder and Director of BGCN, Peter Basford, who wanted to introduce a competition that would both help aspiring young entrepreneurs, as well as local charities in the county.

He explained: “Each month the candidates will be set a task to complete for a Suffolk-based charity. The task will test the candidates’ skills, such as marketing, planning and sales, as well as fundraising and influencing.

“Each task will have a number of reviewers comprising of representatives from both that month’s charity and local business people, who will be following each team and monitoring their progress in raising money, working collaboratively and showing leadership and initiative. After each event, the judges will decide which student is successful at moving onto the next challenge.”

As well as gaining support from the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and the Suffolk Community Foundation, the charities and community groups which will be taking part include St Nicholas Hospice, My Wish, Greener Growth and SARS.

The first event which took place on the 19 April raised £1,600 for the St Nicholas Hospice. The two teams of four candidates each took over shops in St John’s Street and Barton Road in Bury St Edmunds for one day, to raise as much money as possible for the hospice.

Peter continued: “This was a great result and if this first task is anything to go by, we have an extremely strong group of candidates who are already showing the aptitude and acumen to make successful business leaders of the future.”

Local businesses that are providing sponsorship to the project include: Source One Consulting, CompassPoint Recruitment, John Banks Group, Abbeygate Accountancy and Incinerator Replacement Technology Ltd.

Once all the tasks are complete, the remaining candidates will be interviewed before the winner is announced at the grand final event at the beginning of December.

For further information on The Suffolk Apprentice Project contact Peter Basford on 07525 469303 or

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