Aston Villa in the Community is proud to announce a partnership with BCU Business School on a new business education programme for 14 to 16-year-old students.
With additional funding from the Premier League/PFA, the Social Enterprise Academy programme is an innovative scheme that is the first of its kind.
The programme is an adaptation of the PL Enterprise Academy programme which engages young people in the study of business and enterprise by using the football club as a business template.
The pioneering programme will teach students Social Enterprise skills and business knowledge that they will then apply to a project that makes a difference in the community. The programme was developed by the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) and in taking part in the programme students will achieve an OCR Business and Enterprise qualification and a Social Enterprise qualification developed by RIO.
The programme is being piloted in two local schools, Small Heath School and the Q3 Academy in Great Barr. There will be two hours a week of curriculum teaching over the course of a school year by a dedicated Enterprise Academy tutor.
Richard Riley, Head of Business Engagement at Small Heath School, said: "This is a fantastic new programme and we are proud to be one of the first schools to adopt it within our curriculum.
"The school has a tremendous relationship with the club and our students are going to benefit immensely from the qualifications and education they receive through this programme."
Specially designed for 14 to 16-year-old students, the course will end with a project in which students effectively create a social enterprise or product.
Any gains made from the project will be put towards achieving social good benefitting either one of the club's community programmes, club charity partners, or their local/school community.
There will also be special visits to Villa Park, and the new Birmingham City University campus in the city centre.
Lucy Ayers Director of Business Engagement at Birmingham City Business School, said: "We are delighted to be partner with Villa in the Community on this unique and innovative programme.
"It gives the business school the chance to give back and make a difference in the education of young people in a novel way. The potential of this programme is exciting and could be the start of something truly special'.
Villa in the Community's Ravi Masih added: "We wanted to do something a little different to the existing Enterprise Academy programme.
"What better than to give bright young people the opportunity to harness the business education they learn into making a difference in the community.
"The students at Q3 Academy and Small Heath school have shown what talent there is in this city and this programme help them as they consider their options for further education. It is a good feeling to say that this is the first of its kind and hope it can pioneer similar programmes across the league'.