New initiative gives hope to young entrepreneurs offers cash prizes

Photo shows: Nigel Chute of Chute Design
Nigel Chute

Five self-employed philanthropic professionals, calling themselves The Cotswold Collective, are getting together to offer hope in the form of The Cotswold Challenge to 17-18 year olds left in limbo because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

With this year’s ‘A’ level exams cancelled, no jobs and only virtual contact with friends allowed, the Cotswold Challenge initiative has been set up to offer would-be young entrepreneurs something creative to do and offer them the chance to excel, gain a sense of achievement and self-worth and maybe win a monetary prize.

The Challenge has been divided into three categories Art & Design; Creative Writing and Innovation & Entrepreneurial thinking, with a first, second and third prize in each category of £500, £200, £100. Online entry packs will be available shortly for 17-18 year old students in the local area. Entries will be judged by a team of well-known, celebrity artists.

One of the team behind the initiative is Nigel Chute, who runs Cirencester-based product design agency Chute Design. He said: “If any business or person would like to make a pledge towards this initiative of between £50 to £2,400, we would like to hear from you. Likewise, if there are any artists, sculptors, poets, script/screen writers, designers, film producers or authors available to virtually judge a category, please get in touch with The Cotswold Challenge at”

The Cotswold Collective also includes: Allison Murray of Allison Murray Design,  an award-winning design agency based in the Cotswolds.

Chris Roberts MBE Founder of the Fairford & Lechlade Business Club, freelance journalist and facilitator.

Barry Jackson – Aspire Academy. Barry develops programmes that helps address the skills missing in school, college and university leavers.

Fiona Scott of  Fiona Scott Media. Fiona is a journalist who has worked in the media for more than 30 years working in print and television. She has worked on The One Show, Comic Relief and Flog It! She’s also made many regional documentaries. Fiona lives in Swindon with her husband Steve and their four children, one of whom has also missed out in her ‘A’ levels due to Covid19