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Future Business Magnates

Developing tomorrow’s business leaders

Future Business Magnates is a school enterprise competition for Year 8 students in County Durham. The competition was inspired by Brian Manning, chief executive of the Esh Group and renowned advocate for young people’s opportunities in the North East.

It allows young people to develop a new product or service based on the competitions annual theme, and explore how to create a business in a fun and exciting environment. Students from Year 8 form teams to compete in the competition which runs from February until June each year.

Teams participate in six challenges designed to help them create their business plan. Each challenge allows the teams to score points that go towards their final score and at the end of the competition a winner, runners-up and category prizes are awarded.

The main advantage for students in taking part in Future Business Magnates is that it allows them to experience the fun of starting their own business, developing their own product and competing against other schools to see who will emerge victorious and become the winner of FBM.

Bringing students, schools and businesses Together

FBM Challenge 3 Roman Showers and Barnard Castle (1)


By taking part in Future Business Magnates students not only learn new skills and have the experience of creating a new product, they are also able to develop their communication skills and how to work effectively as a team.

Find out more about how FBM helps Students

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As well as introducing participating students to enterprise and the world of work, FBM can also help schools achieve some of their Gatsby benchmarks.

The competition also allows schools to work closely with businesses and develop fruitful long term relationships with some of County Durham’s cutting edge businesses.

Find out more about how FBM helps Schools

Enterprise option 4 (1)


There are a number of ways in which businesses can get involved with the competition. The most simple and straightforward way for a business to get involved is to partner with the school and support their team as they develop their business idea. Businesses can bring their special expertise and their unique point of view to the project that the students develop.

Alternatively, businesses can offer their support to all of the schools by acting as business consultants or specialists. Any school May contact a specialist for advice and support throughout the competition. Representatives of businesses can also volunteer to join a judging panel or sponsor an award at the end of the competition.

Find out more about how FBM helps Businesses

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Parents can learn more about what it means to start a business by observing the work that their children do in FBM.

By encouraging and supporting their child’s project they can gain an insight into the day-to-day running of a new business start-up and understand the new skills team members are learning. They can also bring their own unique experience and their point of view to the table so that children have a wider knowledge base to draw upon when developing their business.

Find out more about how FBM helps Parents

Get involved

Whether you’re a school or a business, it’s easy to get involved in the Future Business Magnates programme.

Before you apply, you can learn more about the Future Business Magnates programme, including benefits for all participants and frequently asked questions.

Alternatively complete a short form to register your interest in the competition and a member of the FBM team will be in touch.

2019 Winners St Leonard's Catholic School (1)

Ready to join the Future Business Magnates Programme?


  • Sarah Slavin

    This exciting competition aims to inspire young people and help develop the skills needed to start and develop a business.

    Sarah Slaven, Managing Director Business Durham
  • Sarah Slavin

    Year after year it’s great to see so many positive outcomes for the students, the schools and the businesses involved.

    Sarah Slaven, Managing Director Business Durham
  • Sarah Slavin

    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.

    Sarah Slaven, Managing Director Business Durham

Ready to join the Future Business Magnates Programme?

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