Quadruple your money - give it to a teenager

The winners of an enterprise competition for youngsters put some of their older counterparts to shame...

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The top 100 kids in this year’s ‘Make Your Mark With a Tenner’ competition made an average profit of £42 during their month of entrepreneurial activity – which suggests that the youth of today might be a better bet than your average high street bank savings account (especially given current interest rates). One enterprising youngster managed to rack up a profit of over £700, while several groups turned their tenners into three-figure sums thanks to a combination of parties, raffles, tuck shops, fruit stalls and so on. UK plc would kill for margins like that at the moment...

The idea of the competition is that 20,000 kids get one month to turn a nice crisp £10 note (supplied to Make Your Mark by Dragons Den star Peter Jones and Bebo founder Michael and Xochi Birch) into as much money as possible. The highest individual profit was amassed by Henry Pearce of St Thomas’s Church in Kent, who managed to turn £50 of the organisers’ money into a remarkable £736 – by getting people to pay to watch him wear a 1920s bathing suit in an ‘historic costume show’. That’s clearly a young man with some quality sales patter (and a conscience – he’s donated his profits to a Kenyan school). 

There were also some impressive group results, including a gang of students from the National Enterprise Academy. OK, so perhaps you’d kind of expect them to be good at this sort of thing, but racking up a £765 profit in 30 days – by arranging an under-18s rave – is not to be sniffed at. And two 11-year-olds from Collumpton Community College did even better (in percentage terms at least), producing a local cookbook that they sold for a total profit per tenner of £246.50. ‘We have learnt a lot from the project like working together to achieve our target, marketing our book and dealing with the financial aspect of the project,’ said one of the pair, Jennifer Land. Don’t they grow up fast?

You don’t need us to tell you that nobody is finding it very easy to make money in the current climate – even some of the high street’s most established names are struggling to attract our cash. So if these schoolchildren can produce a return on investment like this in 30 days (during which the FTSE actually dropped, incidentally), they’ve clearly got some serious entrepreneurial skills. They’re also proving to the cynics that teenagers aren’t all a bunch of cider-swigging, semi-literate hoodies. Let’s hope they can be using that flair for the benefit of UK plc before too long.

In today's bulletin:

Darling hikes top tax rate as Government borrowing soars
Unemployment and borrowing soars - but IMF backs down
Editor's blog: Hello, Darling, want a new motor?
Diageo champagne on ice as LVMH denies Moet sale
Quadruple your money - give it to a teenager

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