The star of BBC Dragons’ Den, Jenny Campbell, visited her former school on Tuesday 27th November to promote entrepreneurship amongst young women. In association with Young Enterprise, pupils from Manchester High School for Girls had the opportunity to pitch business ideas to Jenny and receive expert feedback on their proposals.
Jenny is an ex-career banker turned entrepreneur who sold her business, YourCash Europe, for over £50 million in 2016. After leaving Manchester High School for Girls at the age of 16, Jenny started her career counting cash in a bank branch. She worked her way up to become Operations Director of Hanco, a Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary, and led a management buyout of the company in 2010.
Kerrie Chisnall, who leads Young Enterprise at Manchester High School for Girls, said: “Pitching a business idea to one of the most successful businesswomen in the country was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our girls. The Young Enterprise scheme has been a real hit at Manchester High, partly because the girls see Jenny’s success and start to believe that they could do something similar.”
The two teams were challenged to design, create and market ethical products over the course of the last term. The results were an impressive collection of t-shirts made from bamboo and cruelty-free bath bombs made using natural ingredients. Precious Limen of Team + Aura said: “I was really quite nervous before the session started, but Jenny was very supportive of our ideas. When you have a product that you believe in it can be very difficult to think rationally about how to move forward. Jenny gave us a number of really good ideas about how we could make our marketing more focussed, which we have already started to implement!”
Young Enterprise was founded to help young people to make the connection between school and the world of work. This year-long ‘company programme’ for secondary school students aims to develop employability skills and deliver inspirational enterprise education.
Matthew Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise, said: “It’s inspirational for students to have role models such as Jenny Campbell visiting the classroom to provide their insight. Young Enterprise is all about preparing young people to reach their maximum potential in the workplace, and understand the opportunities ahead of them so many thanks to Jenny for spending her time with Young Enterprise students at Manchester High School for Girls.”
Jenny Campbell is a member of Manchester High School for Girls’ active community of alumnae. The School regularly welcomes alumnae back to MHSG to present talks on careers, wellbeing and personal development.