In my BYPY (Birmingham Young Professional of the Year) interview I was asked the following question by the judges: how are you going to ensure that Birmingham’s most deprived areas benefit from you being BYPY 2014?
Here are some of the things I mentioned in my answer and what my solution is:
We already know from research that if a child grows up with entrepreneurial parents, their chances of one day starting their own business are up to 80% higher than if their parents weren’t self-employed.
On the other hand, children with unemployed parents are significantly more likely to be unemployed themselves than children with parents who hold employment.
Birmingham’s high unemployed population, coupled with the very large number of young people in the city, means that the education and learning that Birmingham’s young people have now will massively impact the city in the future.
The solution to a sustainable and successful Birmingham, therefore, relies on us acting now to create an approach that will bring long-term benefits to our economy.
Why is the employment status of parents such a vital indicator of a child’s future prospects? It’s all about entrepreneurial role models.
The Clever Tykes books is a project I co-founded. It consists of a set of children’s books which introduce children to positive entrepreneurial role models, to instil principles of enterprise, resourcefulness and opportunity-seeking from a young age.
My goal for this year as BYPY 2014 is that the Clever Tykes project benefits the hardest hit areas of Birmingham, including those children who may never have been introduced to any positive entrepreneurial (or even employed) role models anywhere other than these storybooks. The plan isn’t for schools to pay for the books. The lower achieving schools in less affluent areas especially, have to allocate their resource budgets very carefully.
In rolling out this project, we will be giving the children in the most deprived areas of Birmingham the chance to become the employers and wealth creators of the future, the entrepreneurs and innovators that our economy desperately needs to grow.
Our plan is to work with local businesses who share the Clever Tykes ethos who want to sponsor these books into schools across Birmingham and beyond and become the experts in primary enterprise education. Enterprise in schools is something that stands to benefit both the children and teachers because a positive attitude towards work and achievement will help massively.
In January 2017 Clever Tykes partnered with Lloyds Banking Group to deliver books to every single primary school across the UK – not just Birmingham! It might have taken us a little longer than intended but we got there in the end! If you’d like to contact Clever Tykes for other opportunities, visit the contact page.