An inspiring encounter with a dragon

8th November 2013 at 00:00

I want to tell you about our entrepreneurial adventure here at St Vincent's Primary. It's a journey that started three years ago, when P7 pupils took part in the Micro Tyco challenge for the WildHearts charity, and turned #163;1 into more than #163;4,000 in one month.

This term, our headteacher returned from a Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Conference, organised by WildHearts, and challenged us to present a business idea to our class. Our reward was that some lucky people would share our ideas with Sir Tom Hunter (pictured, right), a philanthropist and Scottish entrepreneur we greatly admire.

The most difficult part of the challenge was to generate a business plan that was sustainable and could be followed throughout the school year. Everyone had great ideas, and we learned skills of collaboration, negotiation and design, as well as experiencing an improvement in self-confidence and resilience.

We spent an unforgettable day at Sir Tom's hatchery for young entrepreneurs in Dundonald. He has a head for making money, but also for making a difference by using his money to help others. Sir Tom told us how inspired he was by his two great heroes, his father and Andrew Carnegie.

We had an opportunity to present our business ideas in a "dragons' den", and came away with much encouragement and advice. Our teachers were beaming, too, because Sir Tom said that good teachers make the most difference. This experience will help me with further projects, as I am now more confident to share my ideas and value those of others.

Imagine my surprise when we received a thank-you letter from Sir Tom, in which he said that he was "totally uplifted" by our enthusiasm, and that we were "inspirational pupils". This filled me with pride, and has made me determined to never give up and always believe in myself.

Leah Irwin, P7 student, St Vincent's Primary School, Glasgow.

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