Some might have been inspired by Sir Alan Sugar on The Apprentice or Deborah Meaden in Dragons’ Den, but they all signed up to be part of the Cestria Housing Enterprise and Money Skills Week.

This packed week of activities gave the 13 young people, aged 16-24, a real insight into the reality of running their own businesses – both highs and lows.

The Enterprise & Money Skills Week brought together experts from various fields such as sales, marketing, business planning and budgeting to enhance the skill sets of the young people and support them in their week long venture.

All those leading the workshops were self-starting small business people from the County Durham area – providing real inspiration and a sense of dreams being achievable for the young people.

Speakers included Meryl Levington from business consultancy Actif and self-employed business woman Donna Watson.

The week culminated in a real life experience of running a market stall, courtesy of Chester le Street market and Nobles Promotions.

Cestria Community Housing’s financial inclusion team has been delivering the Enterprise and Money Skills Week for several years.

Activity lead Michelle Fortune said: “We have developed these enterprise weeks to provide real life, hands on experience for young people and the week has proven so successful with many moving into apprenticeships, work and further education.

“This year’s group has really shone with their creativity and ingenuity.

“Apprenticeships are being secured, college applications made and even some discussions are being had about the young people starting their own businesses!

“Every year has been different which makes it even more exciting and rewarding!”

Julie Whitley, Employability Officer at Cestria Housing and Alaine Robson of Durham Works, Durham County Council also provided support and mentoring to the young people.

After delivering employability sessions throughout the week, they will continue to work with the young people through Durham Works, providing support into employment, apprenticeships, further training or education.

Alaine of Durham Works said “This is the first year Julie & I have been involved in the Enterprise Week, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s been amazing watching the attendees’ journeys throughout the week”

Other partners who helped to make the week a success included @TheElmsKitchen who provided a free daily buffet; CDC Enterprise Agency who allowed free use of their venue; New Results Training; Cleanslate CIC and Nobles Promotions, who provided the free market stalls.