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Bright Stars business programme challenges primary school pupils to 'Make a Profit and Make a Difference'

Bright Stars business programme challenges primary school pupils to 'Make a Profit and Make a Difference' Pennington C of E Primary School 'Penn Pals' cooking food for their cafe to bring their community together as part of Bright Stars Spring/Summer 2023.

The award-winning Bright Stars initiative has now been expanded by the Centre for Leadership Performance to offer greater flexibility to businesses and primary schools wishing to take part, with trading beginning in October 2023 and in April 2024 for the Autumn and Spring programmes.

Centre for Leadership Performance logo

Additional funding is now available to encourage more micro-sized companies, charities, college students, arts, culture and tourism businesses and social enterprises to partner primary schools and help pupils set up their own mini social enterprises. This overcomes cost as a barrier to engagement and enables them to connect to their future workforce and build longer term strategies to inspire the next generation.

The CforLP Executive Director Sarah Glass explains: “We are responding to feedback from both businesses and schools which appreciate the benefits of taking part in Bright Stars but may find the timing challenging for a variety of reasons. Businesses and schools can now choose which trading period best suits them – building up to Christmas or summer - or they may opt to do both enabling different year groups to take part and providing more volunteering and development opportunities for employees.”

The greatest uptake of Bright Stars places has traditionally been on the West Coast and South Cumbria, but the CforLP is now hoping the more flexible timescale and additional funding means working with more schools and businesses in Millom, Penrith and Eden, Wigton, Carlisle and the central Lake District.

Bright Stars now in its 10th year was co-created in partnership with schools and local businesses and funded by businesses. Each school receives £50 seed funding to set up their own mini social enterprise with an 8-week trading period and creatively grow that investment to Make a Difference and Make a Profit, while encouraging primary pupils to show everyday leadership.

For businesses, Bright Stars creates on-going links with local primary schools, connects with young people and makes them aware of what local businesses do. It makes a positive impact on communities, raises business profiles as responsible employers, creates links to other businesses taking part, and provides development opportunities for staff.

Pupils learn about key business principles including innovation, budgeting, problem-solving and delivering to deadlines, while linking with core curriculum subjects such as English, maths and design & technology. It also builds confidence as they showcase hidden talents and develop new skills, nurturing creative thinking and aspirations, as well as giving them an insight into how businesses operate in their local areas.

To find out more about Bright Stars visit: or email

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