BUSINESS brains at Great Marlow School have impressed The Duke of York on a visit to Bucks today.
Youngsters and teachers earned high praise from Prince Andrew as he came to meet and greet those involved with the Young Enterprise scheme yesterday morning.
Addressing teenagers and school chiefs, he said: "I'm really impressed by what I've seen today. What encourages me is that the fact that a school like this is receptive to the concept of business being part of life at school."
His Royal Highness met pupils who set up their own business as part of the Young Enterprise charity’s company programme. It introduces young people aged 15 to 19 to the world of business as they set up and run their own companies for a year.
He also observed a Learn to Earn programme, delivered by YE managers and volunteers, which introduces students to budgeting and encourages them to think about their future careers and lifestyles.
The Prince said: "The more and earlier young people can experience it the more likely people are to want to try and have a go at it and they shouldn't be frightened of having a go.
"The other thing that most entrepreneurs will tell you is that if you get an opportunity, as soon as you've got it get it out there.
"You get feedback as to whether you're right or wrong and you can make changes. That's a really important thing to remember.
"The most important thing is if you gained from the experience and you've learnt something, that's all that matters and is really good news.
He added: "Congratulations and thanks very much indeed."
The prince was in jovial mood, joking with the press.
Told by one group of youngsters involved in creating a business video that they had no media background, he quipped: "In some cases that's quite a good idea." He turned laughing to smile at all the journalists present.
A number of dignitaries including Marlow Mayor Jocelyn Towns and The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Carolyn Cumming, also attended.
Michael Mercieca, Young Enterprise CEO, said: "I think today was brilliant, I hope it was inspiring to the young people, that's the main thing.
"It's a fantastic school and as an organisation we want to be in more around the country. I think people get the fact we need to join up education with the world of work. I'd like to thank his royal highness for joining us today."
HEADTEACHER Geralyn Wilson said teenagers had been inspired by the Royal visit.
Mrs Wilson was delighted that the Prince chose to come to Great Marlow as part of his tour of Bucks yesterday.
She said: "The Duke was completely at ease with the pupils and found out from them what their experience of enterprise in school was and asked wider questions too. "He was very interested in their answers and extremely well informed about the importance of the links between business and enterprise.
"We've benefited from YE input in schools for years and I was delighted to have the Duke here. I think those pupils have been inspired. "I feel enormously privileged that he came to the school and was very happy to see the warmth and reception the children gave him. He's given everyone an enormous lift.He was very knowledgeable indeed."
She said: "The pupils' behaviour, conduct, maturity has been significantly strengthened because of the way they have been able to experiment with companies in a safe context."