New enterprise challenge for Blackpool youngsters

Blackpool Council is hoping to unearth the next Alan Sugar with a series of workshops aiming to educate and assist unemployed youngsters.

The Oracle Challenge is aimed at 18-to-24-year-olds and includes a £1,000 prize for the winner and free use of office space for six months.

The three month scheme has been developed to unlock the town’s potential in the face of unemployment figures which recently bucked the national trend and declined where in fact the country’s average grew.

In response, the council has challenged contestants to take part in a set of workshops to build and develop basic business ideas into potential businesses. They will then pitch the idea to other local entrepreneurs, with the overall winner being selected in January.

Blackpool Council’s Chris Maughan, cabinet member for younger people, said: “Many young people think that there are only three choices in life - get a job, stay on as a student and then try and get a job, or languish on the dole waiting for one of these to happen.

“But there is another way, the enterprise route, and the Oracle Young Enterprise Challenge is a superb opportunity to explore this genuine alternative. I encourage any young people who think they could be the next business leader in the town to come forward and apply for the challenge.”

The Challenge is split into three parts:

The Workshops: 27th and 28th November
A two-day workshop featuring a fun set of activities that will help young people to form a basic idea and understand the basics of what it is like to run a business. No previous experience or even a firm idea is needed, just a willingness to learn and a desire to be an entrepreneur.

The First Pitch: 13th December
Initial pitch to the Oracle Young Enterprise Panel - a group of entrepreneurs who participants will have met at the two day workshop. One-to-one advice to be offered leading up to the next stage.

The Final Pitch: 11th January
The final pitch to the same panel with guests where the overall winner will be announced.

Prizes will also be awarded to runners up who complete the whole challenge.

A number of local businesses have signed up to help with the challenge, both acting as judges and offering their own expertise about how to turn an idea into a profit.

For more details contact