Page last updated at 23:19 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 00:19 UK

How much money could you make from a tenner?

By Shanaz Musafer
Business reporter, BBC News

Pupils from Birkdale School in Sheffield accept their award from entrepreneur Michael Smith
Tomorrow's entrepreneurs? These students hope to run their own businesses in the future

If someone gave you £10 and said go and make some money with it, what would you do? Invest it in stocks and shares? Put a bet on England to win the World Cup? Perhaps not.

Maybe you would start your own business. That's what thousands of children up and down the country have been doing as they took part in the "Make Your Mark with a Tenner" competition, run by Enterprise UK.

They were lent £10 for one month and challenged to make as much money as they could.

But it's not just about turning a profit, says Enterprise UK chief executive Tom Bewick: "It's about empowering and inspiring young people to make a profit from the £10, but also about challenging them to make a difference in their community."

Here are some of the award winners and their business ideas.


Emily and Leonie
Emily and Leonie had the most profitable business in their age group

Twelve-year-old Emily and 11-year-old Leonie from Devon came up with the idea of recycling mobile phones.

They asked people to donate old or unwanted mobiles and then sold them on, with the price varying from 25p to £90 depending on the phone. They put up posters in local shops and asked friends and family to spread the word.

"Everybody's got a phone lying around," says Leonie.

"It's nice doing something independently and working it out for yourself, and doing something that's not adult-run."

The pair started with £10 between them and made a profit of £920, which they donated to three different charities.


Sonny, Bethany, Emily and Holly
The St Catherine's students won the best business award for under 11s

Four school friends from Sheffield decided to pool their tenners and get two business ideas going at once.

Sonny and Emily, both 10, and Bethany and Holly, both 11, decided to set up a juice stand during their playtime, and also offered to personalise their classmates' PE shirts.

"We thought it was a bit difficult to bring t-shirts from home so we asked our teacher if we could put names on to PE shirts," says Bethany.

As well as names, they also offered to print celebrity images on the shirts, with Beyonce and Steven Gerrard proving popular choices.

"It was nice to hang out with friends," Holly says of the experience.

But did they encounter any difficulties along the way?

"For the typing we had to write the words backwards to print it on the t-shirts so that sometimes caused some problems," says Emily. "And we ran out of paper one day, and we ran out of cups one day."

"Spilling juice!" adds Sonny.

They made a profit of £72 and are donating some of it to help the relief effort in Haiti and some to the Tickled Pink breast cancer charity, with anything left over going towards their school leavers' do.


Vidyuth holding a CD cover which he designed
The Birkdale students won the best business award for 14 to 19-year-olds

Year 10 students Josh, Duncan, Blake, Vidyuth and William pooled their resources and set up a business called Fractured Designs, which offers promotional services to new bands and artists.

"We provide them with posters, t-shirts, websites and help them promote themselves," explains Duncan.

They charge either £100 or £200 depending on what is required.

They say they all bring something different to the business, with Duncan, Josh and William creating the websites, Vidyuth doing most of the artwork, and Blake, who plays in a band, using his contacts to help find clients.

But he says their age (Vidyuth is 14, the rest are 15) has sometimes proved a barrier.

"When we went to guitar shops a lot of people didn't take us seriously. But by showing people what we've done, it helps."

Over the month, they raised about £1,000 and are giving 25% to the One Empire charity, and investing the rest in the business, which they plan to keep running.


Scott with his award
Scott received the outstanding individual special award

Eleven-year-old Scott had to show great perseverance to turn his tenner into a profit.

He wrote a Mother's Day poem, which he printed and laminated to sell as an insert for Mother's Day cards.

He even managed to strike a deal with a supermarket who agreed to let him sell them there, but disaster struck when the company pulled out at the last minute.

"I was a bit upset but then I thought of pulling myself back up again," he says.

Undeterred, he contacted his local radio station, got some publicity and managed to set up shop in his local Sainsbury's to sell them.

In just five hours, he made a profit of £540, some of which he is donating to the Derby Deaf Children's Society.

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