TINY tycoons are setting up their own companies as part of an innovate challenge to ignite pupils' business brains.

Oxley Group in Ulverston is getting involved with the Bright Stars programme once again this year, to develop money-spinning ideas over the next eight weeks through investment and creativity.

Oxley Group is working with 50 nine-year-old pupils from Victoria Academy to help launch a business and make money for charity.

The pupils will be given £50 to kick-start their business and given sessions providing business advice and skills.

This year, the pupils have chosen the theme of ‘Animals Matter’ and will be fundraising for the animal charity RSPCA.

The products they will be manufacturing and marketing include: animal bracelets, animal-themed artwork and animal-themed cakes.

As well as this, pupils will be making decorated stones with an animal welfare awareness message on them which will be hidden by the children and their families around the area.

The pupils will be selling their hand-crafted goods at a sales event on Thursday March 5at Victoria Academy at 2pm.

Darren Cavan, Oxley Group CEO, praised the programme for helping cultivate leadership and entrepreneurship skills within young people.

He said: "The Bright Stars programme helps to raise the aspirations and confidence of young people in a fun way whilst helping them to develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills.

"The Victoria Academy team arrived at our Dragon’s Den well prepared and confident, they’ve set an ambitious profit target and I look forward to working with them on the project to facilitate their learning and to support a great cause."

Jayne Moorby, Marketing Manager and Business Mentor for the team, said: "At Oxley we believe that developing the skills of young people is vital for the future economy of Cumbria, that’s why we’ve supported Bright Stars for the past four years.

"This team are very creative and full of good ideas, they also have a great approach to problem solving; ‘be resilient, smile, keep calm and create a plan.’

"The whole Oxley team enjoys working on Bright Stars and I’m sure the ‘Animals Matter’ project will be a huge success."