An enterprise agency based in Ilkeston has won £11,000, which it plans to spend on fostering young business brains across the borough.
Members of the public voted for Erewash Partnership to be one of just a handful of organisations across the country, shortlisted in the first round of the RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise Fund.
The money will be spent in six secondary schools in Erewash in a bid to promote entrepreneurship amongst teenagers.
Thanking the public, including local schoolchildren, who voted for the partnership, chief executive Ian Viles said: “It is fantastic that the partnership has been successful in winning this money to encourage and help young entrepreneurs with this innovative idea.”
The cash will pay for kits which will teach basic business finance skills to the pupils, aged from 15 to 18.
A two-year programme teaching them comprehensive business skills covering all aspects of planning, starting and running a small business, is also part of the package.
The Partnership said it also wants to bring pupils closer to the wider business community and see business as a real career option.
Students will even get the chance to be experience what it is like to be a market trader in Ilkeston or Long Eaton, thanks to the involvement of Erewash Borough Council.
A total of 253 bids, requesting £10m, were cut down to a 26 which faced the public vote.
Of those, there were 10 picked to receive grants between £10,000 and £25,000.
Derek Hogg, senior economic development officer at the partnership wrote the winning bid.
He said: “Self-employment is still seen as the poor cousin for a career choice. We know from our work with the University of Derby that young people can come up with some really good ideas for businesses.
“Winning this bid means we can start the thought processes before they leave school.”
By the end of 2015 the RBS Fund aims to help 100,000 young people across the nation to explore enterprise, develop their skills and start up in business, whatever their background.