Leeds Town Hall.
Austen Shakespeare

Yorkshire youth business programme supports sustainable innovation

Pupils from a school in Leeds have won a business initiative supported by the University of Leeds and the social enterprise Ahead Partnership.

Solution Leeds is an initiative designed to help young people’s creativity and enhance employability skills through a sustainable, community-focused business brief.

Dixons Unity Academy won with their ‘Dixons Support’ pitch, which centred around encouraging Leeds businesses to sponsor a food waste and clothing distribution service in response to requests for support that the school had received from their local community during the pandemic.

They gave their final and winning pitch at Leeds City Council at a finale on September 28.

Suzie Bell, project manager at Ahead Partnership, said: “Throughout the past year, innovation is something that has really come to the fore across our society, from businesses finding new ways to operate to individuals deciding to take the leap and turn their big idea into a reality.

“Nexus is an organisation with innovation at its core, so it’s been fantastic to partner with them to engage young people and foster their entrepreneurial and employability skills through Solution for Leeds.

“Taking this brief and honing their ideas into something that could make a really positive change to their community has been a formative experience for the students involved and we are thrilled that Nexus are working with us to inspire future innovators.”

Dr Martin Stow, Nexus director, said: “We were thrilled to support this project and see what innovative ideas and creative solutions the student teams came up with.

“They are the future guardians of the critical issues we face around personal wellbeing, wider community responsibility and global climate challenges and it is only through sharing ideas and working collaboratively that we can begin to meet those challenges.”

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