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Our History

The Primary Inspiration through Enterprise Charity was established in 2013 when 4 primary schools in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne came together to set-up and run a shop.  Since then the programme has grown and has worked with over 50 schools and 3000 pupils to become the first UK initiative that delivers accredited Enterprise vocational qualifications which involve, parents, pupils, teachers and businesses, and is delivered within Primary and Secondary Schools.

Over the years the project has extended its breadth and depth to incorporate a range of activities including engineering, art, and coding that ultimately help our future generations realise their ambitions and raise their aspirations.

Our Patron is Sir John Hall, our PIE President Bill Midgley OBE and our founder is Ammar Mirza CBE.  We work with a vast number of organisations that have kindly dedicated significant time, effort and in some cases money to make a difference to their local communities.

We make the connection between education and the world of work, enabling young people to develop the knowledge and attitudes they need to succeed. Through our promotion of a tailored approach to every child and ensuring they are given relevant opportunities, the PIE Project is helping the North East to lead the way nationally in developing future career and life skills for children as young as 8 years old – traditionally, careers advice is focused on ages 14+. This is also the first region in the UK to offer the opportunity for primary school pupils to achieve a vocational qualification. A methodology focused on effective communication, collaboration and celebration that has been adopted, has been critical to our success.

The ambition of the PIE Project is to provide a holistic approach to enterprise education that links businesses to primary, secondary, further and higher education. Providing a seamless and integrated approach to career advice and guidance using Gatsby Benchmarks and linking to Enterprise Advisers that ultimately enhances life choices and improves life chances for everyone. 


The PIE Trustees

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Ammar Mirza CBE

A sought-after leadership and business management consultant through AmmarM (UK) Limited. Ammar founded the PIE Project charity in 2013 to introduce enterprise education into primary schools across the North East.

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Rob Kleiser

An experienced consultant supporting large companies with organisational development, talent, apprenticeships and learning solutions. He is a senior Leader with significant experience of taking strategic responsibility in education and commercial sectors.

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Michelle Minnikin

Michelle is a Chartered Business Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is a Co-Founder of Inspiration North and Co-Captain of Work Pirates.

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Chris Beevers

A well networked executive with a varied background, Chris is a financial adviser within a well-established North East practice. He works with individuals and businesses to provide holistic financial planning. Previously a senior manager within a fast-growing recruitment business, Chris joined the PIE Project board at the beginning of 2019. 

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Andy Black

An engineering manager, a long-standing member of the armed forces and has been involved in a wealth of educational projects across the North East.  

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Michael Grahamslaw

Being part of the framework of the North Easts media landscape for nearly 30 years Michael has a raft of experience in promoting engaging, informative and entertaining content across a range of different areas. 

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James Eves

James is a Gallup® certified strengths coach and founder of Zira Life, Co-Founder of Inspiration North and Co-Captain of Work Pirates.

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