Can the BBC create a new generation of entrepreneurs?

Can the BBC create a new generation of entrepreneurs?

Posted: Mon 8th Feb 2016

As a new children's version of Dragons' Den begins, Enterprise Nation's Dan Martin wonders how much it will inspire youngsters to start their own business.

It was perhaps only a matter a time before we saw kids entering the Dragons' Den. We've had Junior Apprentice and now we've got Pocket Money Pitch, CBBC's take on the popular show in which entrepreneurs pitch to millionaire investors.

Starting today at 5.30pm the programme features budding young entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas for the chance to win a year's worth of pocket money (£322.40).

The Dragons have been replaced by 'gurus' including Reggae Reggae Sauce founder and Den survivor Levi Roots, The Apprentice runner-up Bianca Miller and entrepreneur and Made in Chelsea star Amber Atherton.

Looking at the preview videos, the business ideas sound intriguing. Among them are 'Real Meal Pizza'. Yes, real meals. On a pizza. Perhaps that's one way to get kids to eat their greens?

The BBC got into a bit of trouble the last time it tried to introduce children to the world of business. It was forced to remove a quiz for kids from its website after it was criticised for ranking respondents more entrepreneurial the more dishonest they were.

Does Pocket Money Pitch suggest the Beeb has learnt its lesson?

Money of course is a key part of the show as the young contestants compete for a pile of cash to turn their ideas into reality. That's not necessarily though about encouraging children to be "the shark in the goldfish bowl" as that infamous quiz proclaimed.

I haven't actually seen the show yet so I'll reserve judgement on the actual format, although it doesn't look like the gurus are as vicious as the Dragons so we shouldn't be seeing any tears!

What is good though is that the BBC is giving such prominence to a children's show about business. Things like Young Enterprise have been around for the while but it's good to see entrepreneurship hitting the mainstream and in a prime time TV slot for kids.

Children need to hear from entrepreneurs who they can relate to so it's good to see the likes of Rob Law, founder of ride-on-children's suitcase brand Trunki, and Ben Towers, the 17-year-old who runs three businesses, amongst the judges.

Dragons' Den has changed dramatically since it first aired in January 2005. Back then it was very much all about business and looking back you could call it boring in TV terms. Looking at the show now it's much more about personalities and entertainment for which it faces much criticism. However, if it lights an entrepreneurial spark in some viewers, that's a good thing.

Let's hope Pocket Money Pitch lights that spark too in lots of youngsters so more realise that starting your own business is a viable career option.

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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