Uni-Blinds® integral blinds manufacturer Morley Glass is partnering with a Leeds-based product designer and business owner who has created an innovative programme to help young people develop their creative and entrepreneurial skills.

The Creative Enterprise Challenge is the brainchild of Sami Lovett, founder of Just Lovett Design, who wanted to create a “real life ‘The Apprentice’ meets ‘Dragon’s Den’ experience” for young people aged 12-18. With the support of Morley Glass, the programme’s main raw material – wood – is provided free of charge, and additional sponsorship make it accessible to all.

Running during the school holidays, the programme takes the best aspects of these successful TV shows and blends them with practical skills workshops led by Sami, where two teams of five compete to develop a winning product from scratch. Over the course of five days, the students are tasked to meet a sustainable design brief that involves designing a brand, product, marketing video and start-up business plan.

The young people develop their creative skills, as they are required to make their own products using recycled materials. These include high quality wooden boxes, which were previously used for transporting integral blind systems, along with plywood sheets provided by Morley Glass. Sami teaches the students handicraft, graphic design and digital fabrication skills and they learn essential business skills too, enabling them to cost out their products with a view to making a profit at retail.

At the end of the week, each team presents in ‘Dragon’s Den’ style to pitch their creations to an expert panel of judges who are successful entrepreneurs themselves. And if the teams are happy with their finished products, they can then go on to sell them to their previously identified target market should they want to.

Ian Short, MD of Morley Glass said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be supporting Sami and the Creative Enterprise Challenge because it brings together two things that are close to my heart – sustainability and developing our entrepreneurs of the future. The programmes that have run so far have shown just how capable young people are at being able to take a brief, work as a team and create finished products of amazing quality that have blown the judges away.

“Whilst we initially started our partnership simply as a supplier of wood after Sami contacted us, we quickly saw the potential of her programme and wanted to do more. That’s why we offered to provide funding that has ensured places on the Creative Enterprise Challenge have been subsidised to date, and we hope to continue supporting Sami as her scheme grows.”

Sami is a successful product designer and workshop instructor who founded her Just Lovett Design business five years ago. She also runs Just Lovett Workshops where she empowers people to get creative to boost their wellbeing.

Sami added: “The Creative Enterprise Challenge aims to educate and inspire children, who will walk away at the end of the week with so much more than a product and a business plan. We’ve seen the transformation that’s possible in just one week, with the children often starting out a little nervous, but by the end of the week they’ve made new friends and really built their confidence.”

Further details about the programme can be found at https://www.justlovettworkshops.co.uk/creative-enterprise-challenge.