Local organisations, FIRST and PNE Group, have joined forces find the next generation of North East change makers.

Their newly announced project, Green For Go!, will inspire and educate the region’s young people by collaborating with four colleges across the North East. Students at each college will be able to access Green For Go! workshops to develop their entrepreneurial skills and explore ways the actions of businesses can help overcome challenges such as climate change, poverty and inequality.

The programme will culminate in an exciting pitch competition between students from participating colleges, bringing together the finalists and the business community in a celebratory event next March.

The project got the green light after it achieved £46,000 of support from a local private foundation that seeks to improve the lives and prospects of young people across the North East.

To provide extra inspiration for the students, the Green For Go! team have brought together an ‘ambassador squad’ of young entrepreneurs making a difference in the North East, including Phil Buckley, whose venture Plastech provides a solution to microplastics and construction waste; Chris Nutman, Founder of mycloudcoach, which brings learning resources to underprivileged communities across the globe; Emma Quinn, who challenges metal health stigma through her business Piffy and Egg; and Mandy Barker, whose creative agency Sail designs for real-world impact.

Charlotte Windebank, co-Founder of FIRST said, “We are incredibly proud to be able to bring the Green For Go! programme to young people across our region. Young voices have been one of the most inspiring aspects of the growing discussions around climate action and social justice and businesses have an essential role to play in resolving the challenges the world faces. With Green For Go! we hope to motivate the next generation of sustainable business leaders and give them a tool to succeed.”

Emma Quinn, Founder of Piffy and Egg and ambassador for the programme, said, “’When we started to explore creating Piffy & Egg, I had incredible support from mentors and role models to gain the confidence and skills to start my own business. I’m really excited to be involved with Green for Go! to inspire young people to have fearless ambition and make a difference to the world.”