Social Enterprise London reaches out to young people

A group of teenagers from the inner city are launching their own social enterprise this year to train cyclists, after a school visit from Social Enterprise London.

The 14 to 16 year-olds from business and enterprise college the St Matthew Academy in Lewisham, won £250 in start-up capital to set up their scheme after a competition at the end of last term inspired by BBC’s entrepreneurial programme Dragon’s Den.

Fourteen teams of students worked on business plans with SEL over two days to set up enterprises that would benefit the community and the local environment. Among their projects were initiatives to reduce bullying, social exclusion and violent crime, and to deal with traffic congestion.

The winning scheme, Bikewise, will provide cycle proficiency training and campaign to raise the profile of cycling. It aims to expand and include cycle repairs and trading in spare parts.

Five other groups at St Matthew’s each won £75 to help develop their ideas and were offered consultancy services by SEL.

The SEL board includes chair Mark Sesnan, managing director of Greenwich Leisure, and vice-chair Sophi Tranchell, managing director of the fair-trade chocolate company Divine Chocolate.

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