YOUNG apprentices stepped into the dragons’ den to mark their school’s enterprise week.

Pupils at St Bede Academy, Morris Green, put their maths and entrepreneurial skills to the test to develop a new product.

The young tycoons came up with inventions ranging from stress balls to personalised plant pots, and pitched their ideas to business gurus Nicola Mason and Chris Wilson from Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers.

They received funding to bring their ideas to life and each class sold its products at a street market held at the school.

Prizes were also awarded to the class which made the most profit, and the class which came up with the most enterprising idea.

Class 4S won a tablet computer for their Creative Can Company, which saw the children generate a winning profit of £225 by selling different products made out of recycled cans.

A second tablet was awarded to the pupils of class 3B, who won the best idea category for designing items made out of Scrabble tiles.

Nicola Mason, corporate manager at Moore and Smalley, said: “Events like this one are an excellent way of introducing children to business and inspiring our next generation of entrepreneurs.

"The academy has some fantastic young. Hopefully this will give these children a taste for success.”

Victoria Jordan, who organised the event and is maths co-ordinator at the academy, said: “The week was a lot of fun for all involved and the children learnt some important lessons in areas including maths, problem solving and teamwork.

“They not only designed and produced their items, but conducted their own market research, investigated costs and calculated profit, which they presented to the judges as part of their pitch.

“All the products were a huge success and who knows, maybe the next Alan Sugar and Karren Brady are among our business-boys and business-girls here.”