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28 December 2003
Scotland on Sunday
300,000 to find business brains at schools

A COMPANY which uses psychological profiling to identify future entrepreneurs among Scotland's schoolchildren has raised GBP 300,000 from business angels and the Scottish Executive to get its programme moving.

Mindscreen, based in Edinburgh, questioned leading entrepreneurs to identify key elements of their personalities.

According to the company, children with qualities such as competitiveness, a strong will and a desire to control can end up in trouble because they refuse to conform.

But these attributes are also similar to those of successful business leaders. By catching them early, Mindscreen hopes to encourage them to consider using their talents in business.

It developed a typical entrepreneur's psychological profile by questioning members of the Entrepreneurial Exchange - the networking group which includes Tom Hunter, Sir Tom Farmer and Chris Gorman. The data was then used to identify schoolchildren with similar traits. Mindscreen's founder, Gavin Devereux, said around 10 per cent of Scots children studied had profiles which matched those of business leaders.

He said: 'The children might look at a lesson and say: 'How can I use this? What return can I get from it?' If they cannot see any benefit they might disengage and say: 'This is no use to me'.'


 DOUGLAS FRIEDLI



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