Michelin lends support for pupils’ business pitch in Young Enterprise initiaitve

Students from across Staffordshire and Shropshire pitched their enterprising ideas to business experts as part of a Young Enterprise event supported by Michelin Development in Stoke-on-Trent.


Pupils from five schools headed to Michelin’s offices in the city for the Young Enterprise ‘Pitch to the Panel’ event, to gain feedback and ideas on start-up businesses they developed themselves.


Teams came from Alleynes Academy in Stone, The De Ferrers Academy in Burton-on-Trent, John Taylor Free School in Barton-under-Needwood and Newport Girls High School to take part in the initiative.


Pupils taking part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme at Michelin in Stoke


They shared their ideas with the panelists, James Gibson, Nicki Ockleton and Zoe Gerrity of Michelin, and Ian Blurton and Darren Ditchburn of Leek Building Society,  in a six minute presentation.


The panelists then asked questions about each business idea, before giving the groups individual feedback on their business proposal.


Ideas presented to the panelists included a children’s book on road safety, a  jewellery box, a phone stand for a laptop, a children’s book on understanding emotions and a bracelet with a bead that identifies a spiked drink.


The five teams who took part in the heat at Michelin are among 600 taking part in the ‘Pitch to the Panel’ initiative, which culminates in a West Midlands regional final, before the National Showcase event later this year.


Teresa Fisher, Area Manager at Young Enterprise UK, said: “The Company Programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to develop confidence, an enterprising mindset and employability skills.


“These were all showcased at the Pitch to the Panel Event, where all the teams demonstrated excellent teamwork, and delivered presentations of a professional standard.


“The pupils taking part have all developed some amazing skills through engaging with the Company Programme.”


The Young Enterprise Company Programme has been running for more than a decade, offering young people the chance to learn business-related skills and work with mentors from local companies.


Michelin Development works in the regions where Michelin premises are, or have been located, to support the economic regeneration and long-term prosperity of the local business community. It has supported the Company Programme for more than five years.


Carol Hopkins, Michelin Development Co-ordinator, said “We enjoyed a fantastic day understanding more about the pupils’ innovative business ideas.


“It was clear that each team had put in a great deal of effort, thought and planning to get their concepts off the ground.


“All the teams benefitted from positive feedback from the panel, who had some great insight to share with the pupils.


“We wish the teams luck in the next stage of the Young Enterprise Company Programme.”


Pictured left to right, Carol Hopkins of Michelin Development, Darren Ditchburn, Deputy Chief Executive of Leek Building Society, Zoe Gerrity, Michelin Tyre Plc Financial Controller, James Gibson, Michelin Insight Manager Transport Long Distance, Nicki Ockleton, Michelin Finance Director, Ian Blurton, Head of Branch Network and Customer Support of Leek Building Society and Teresa Fisher, Educational Partnership Manager Young Enterprise.


Date of publication: 8th April 2024