Business role models with a great story to tell

CHILDREN’S story books which have been written to inspire resourceful, innovative and enterprising behaviour are to be distributed to every primary school in the UK.
The Clever Tykes series by Birmingham-based Ben and Jodie Cook seeks to introduce important life skills and attitudes to children aged six to nine.
Jodie Cook, founder of JC Social Media and the 2014 Birmingham Young Professional of the Year, said: “The idea came to me in 2012 when I was invited to be a Start Up Loans ambassador, as an example of someone who had set up their business on less than £1,000.
“A meeting with the other 12 ambassadors, all successful UK-based young entrepreneurs, realised that 11 out of the 12 of the group also had a parent who was self-employed. This led to research around the factors which influence entrepreneurship – role models being key to this. This then led to us wanting to create entrepreneurial role models for children, through the medium of storytelling.”
Co-founder Ben Cook added: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for Clever Tykes and primary enterprise education. We’ve seen the positive changes in children’s behaviour having read our stories and we’re delighted that thousands more will benefit.”
A sponsorship deal with Lloyds Banking Group will see a copy of the series delivered to the 23,000 primary schools in the UK. The package includes the development of the UK’s first digital enterprise portal.
This will enable schools to download the books and will give them access to a raft of enterprise education resources which can be built into various areas of the curriculum. 
Martin Dodd, Lloyds Banking Group’s Ambassador for the Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Clever Tykes, which we hope will develop much-needed skills. As part of our ambition to help Britain prosper we strongly believe that investing in educating children in innovation and enterprise will not only benefit young people, but ultimately also the communities in which they live.”

Jodie Cook is one of the panellists for’s Millennials event in Birmingham on Tuesday, November 29. Click here to find out more.