Visionary Richmond Borough Heads are putting young minds to work



Forward-looking head teachers from a series of primary schools in the borough of Richmond-up-Thames[1] are incorporating enterprise courses into their curriculum for children in year 6 (aged 10-11) to introduce them to the workings of the business world.  Stride is an education enrichment partnership that designs and delivers challenging programmes to open children’s minds to the world of business and enterprise.

For the second year running, tech21 is pleased to extend its partnership with Stride.  Tech 21 is a Twickenham-based global company dedicated to developing the most advanced, scientifically proven cases and screen shields for mobile, tablet and laptop devices worldwide. Colin Woodward, tech21’s CEO said “As a company established in true entrepreneurial spirit and continually dedicated to innovation, tech 21 is pleased to have an opportunity to partner with the Stride Programme and work with local school children to ignite their passion for business and entrepreneurship. I am so impressed to see the creativity and great profit margins achieved by the school children in our local community.”

Colin was joined by local MP for Richmond and North Kingston, Zac Goldsmith to judge Dragon’s Den “Perfect Pitch”, a Shark Tank style pitching process, at St. Mary Magdalen on 30th November.  And Zac is scheduled to take part again in the judging process at the next Stride event at Lowther Primary School in Barnes on 10th December.  Zac commented I wasn’t expecting the level of quality on display. The presentations were both fun and engaging.  And the sentiments about keeping going and not giving up are ideas I’m going to take back to Parliament!  This is something I would like to see in all schools in the borough.”

The ‘Putting Young Minds to Work’ course is a programme of 6 to 8 sessions delivered by experienced trainers, all of whom have a background in business.  The emphasis is on making the programme as ‘real life’ as possible and so the children are loaned £40 per team and the expectation is that the mini-business they design, set-up and run makes a profit.  Nikki de Bruin, Stride’s Co-Founder added, “Stride is injecting the 4th R, what we call Real Life experience, into the education system by designing unique programmes combining business theory with practical experience, all delivered by trainers with a business background.   The aim is to reinforce theory and build skills through learning-by-doing.”

Each ‘Putting Young Minds to Work’ course culminates in a final event which sees the school’s teams competing with each other to win the ‘Perfect Pitch award. First the children present their research, marketing plans, budgets and products to a team of judges and this is followed by the products being put to test ‘in-market’ as they go on sale on stalls at the schools.  All children receive a Stride work experience accreditation certificate and there are awards for the most profit made as well as the team which gave the best presentation.

Stride has been working with teachers and pupils in the South East and Greater London area to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset by giving young people the skills, knowledge and aspirations they need to be successful in our fast-changing world of work. 


For more details on Stride’s ‘Putting Young Minds to Work’ programmes, please get in touch with Nikki de Bruin, co-founder at / 07986 336134.