The Scottish government has given its official endorsement to the enterprise education challenge Micro-Tyco, which sees children raise thousands of pounds within four weeks from an initial pound;1 investment.
The education secretary, Michael Russell, said the challenge could offer pupils the chance to become creative and innovative and develop a "can do, will do" attitude.
"I believe that education and entrepreneurship are essential to a vibrant, dynamic and successful Scotland. That's why I am very happy to provide my support to Micro-Tyco," he said.
Micro-Tyco provides an opportunity for small groups of youngsters from nursery age all the way up to college and university to compete against multinational corporations.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to work in a real-life setting and supplements our approach to learning through Curriculum for Excellence - all of which will help our young people to prosper and flourish in 21st- century Scotland," said Mr Russell.
Mick Jackson, founder of the WildHearts charity, which runs Micro-Tyco, said he was thrilled to receive government support as it would help him reach his aim of bringing the challenge into every school in Scotland.
"I believe that our country can lead the world in the evolution of enterprise education. Micro-Tyco unites everyone in our community, from our children to our corporate executives with that vision; that business can and must be a force for good. The fact that the minister for education and his team are working with us is further evidence that Micro-Tyco is inspiring the leaders our world deserves," he said.
With supporter and fellow entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, he has launched this year's run of Micro-Tyco.
With the help of business mentors, teams have to try to transform pound;1 into as much money as possible, using their entrepreneurial skills. All money generated through the challenge is then invested by WildHearts in micro- loans for the poorest people in 24 countries across the globe.
Last year saw 550 teams from schools, colleges, universities and businesses turn an initial investment of pound;550 into a return of pound;106,882.
The overall winner was a business team from Deloitte, but the winning school team, coming second overall, was St Joseph's Primary, Aberdeen.
HOW IT WORKS
Once they have signed up, teams will be sent their pound;1 seed capital, and given access to the Micro-Tyco website, where they can ask questions and interact with other teams, partners and business mentors in forums and blogs.
The challenge begins officially at 12.01am on 1 November, 2012, and finishes at 11.59pm on 30 November.
Teams are free to use their imagination as well as their skills, experience, creativity, innovation, contacts and bartering abilities to increase their return; the only two rules which must be followed are that they cannot gamble and their activities must be legal.
Throughout the competition, teams receive videos from the global Micro- Tyco mentors who will offer tips and advice.
Every week, each team's running totals must be emailed to WildHearts to allow the charity to keep a log of the challenge. Clear evidence of how the money was raised, such as a written list of activities, must also be provided. All money raised must be sent to WildHearts to be invested into micro-loans.