Durham students team up with businesses to tackle climate crisis


School children across County Durham are teaming up with businesses on a challenge to come up with business ideas that will protect the planet. Over 120 students from 17 secondary schools will take part in Future Business Magnates, an initiative now in its 15th year, which sees students and businesses working together to develop, create and present their ideas.

This year, students are being asked to come up with a business idea that will help to save the planet or will tackle one of the problems caused by the climate crisis. The focus comes as countries around the world and local authorities are declaring climate emergencies and committing to reducing carbon emissions.

School children have a unique stake in this issue as they will face the worst effects of climate change. That is why so many young people followed Greta Thunberg’s lead last year and ditched school to protest about the inaction of Government’s on the issue. The students will undergo six individual challenges over the coming months, supported by dedicated business partners from successful Durham-based organisations like Zumbotel Group, Honcho Markets, Wates Construction and Waterstons.

The programme will culminate in an awards ceremony in June, hosted by BBC presenter Charlie Charlton.

Sarah Slaven, operations director at Business Durham, said: “This exciting competition aims to inspire young people and help develop the skills needed to start and develop a business. “Year after year it’s great to see so many positive outcomes for the students, the schools and the business partners. Students are introduced to possible career pathways and develop key communications skills, and businesses are given the opportunity to inspire young people whilst learning more about the world of education.”