Two groups of Cheshire students were given the opportunity to meet the Duke of Westminster this month as part of a joint venture between Young Enterprise and The Westminster Foundation.

On Thursday 5 May, the Duke, Hugh Grosvenor, visited Christleton High School in Chester to meet several Year 9 and Year 12 students who had been taking part in programmes run by Young Enterprise.

In partnership with the Westminster Foundation, the visit saw the Duke speaking with Year 9s who are undertaking the Learn to Earn programme, which is designed to help young people consider financial plans for the future and make informed decisions about their careers.

The Duke also met with a group of Year 12s taking part in the Company Programme, which aims to give young people the opportunity to sell their products to real customers to generate a profit.

Students involved in the Company Programme make all the decisions about their Young Enterprise business, from the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their goods.

Young Enterprise say that in doing so young people gain the practical business experience, adaptability, confidence, resilience and key employability skills needed to build successful futures.

The school's Year 12 students would also go on to win a Best Presentation Award, for their product Bottled Aromas.

Jack, a Year 12 student in the Company Programme, said: "We learned a lot about time management, plus a sense of how to work as a group and build our teamwork skills and not just work as individuals. Some of us enjoyed making the product the most, others enjoyed the planning that we did at the start of the process."

Sophie, another of the winning group, said: "We started out not knowing anything about entrepreneurship, but through doing the programme, we developed our business skills. Selling has been my favourite part of the experience."

Kate Dennan, Head of Business and IT at Christleton High School, said: "From the outset it gives students a fantastic opportunity. At first you get lots of students who are unsure what to do and how to run a business, but very quickly the support of Young Enterprise (and the website which they offer) shows them all the different stages of how to create a business.

"The skills that they learn are phenomenal. We’ve been able to give our students a wide range of opportunities which we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise."

Children from both groups commented that it was nice to meet the Duke and to be able to speak to him about both his life and business choices. The British aristocrat is the acting owner of the Grosvenor Group, which comprises of multiple businesses and properties around the world, with its namesake hotel in the centre of Chester and the likes of the shopping district Liverpool ONE, in nearby Liverpool.

The Duke's Westminster Foundation charity aims to provide guidance and support to young people through funding and supporting various initiatives.

Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster said: "Young Enterprise is doing a brilliant job to empower young people, equipping them with real skills that are relevant in life beyond education. I was struck by how all the students taking part in the Company Programme told me how it really boosted their confidence through taking on a new challenge and learning new skills together.

"I’d like to thank the students and staff at Christleton High School for their very warm welcome and I look forward to seeing plenty of amazing things in the future from this next generation of workers and entrepreneurs."