A BUSINESS leader has backed an East Lancashire college which has created a course to encourage entrepreneurship.

Chief executive of the area’s chamber of commerce Mike Damms said entrepreneurial spirit had been ‘neglected’ and was ‘dormant’.

He said it was now time for a revival and hoped entrepreneurship could be revived through a new business-orientated course at Blackburn College.

The Enterprise and Entrepreneurship qualification is becoming recognised by business leaders as it equips students with the skills that employers look for.

Mr Damms said: “Pennine Lancashire has, until recently, had generally low business creation and survival rates, although recent initiatives have shown that, with the right intervention, much better results can be achieved.

“One hundred years ago, this was the enterprise capital of the world, and it is probable that the spirit has not been lost, it has simply been neglected and it needs to be rediscovered.

“The Blackburn College course in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship is most welcome and deserves wide recognition and support.”

Also backing the new courses is TV businessman Alex Wotherspoon, who appeared in Lord Alan Sugar’s show The Apprentice.

Mr Wotherspoon said: “I think one of the reasons students are keen to discover their potential entrepreneurial skills and translate them into something marketable is a sign of the times.

“Nowadays people are branching away from the more ‘traditional’ methods of finding employment and are being encouraged to think and act like an entrepreneur; and are taking their destiny into their own hands.”

Ian Clinton, principal at Blackburn College, said “Our new courses and alternative subject areas reflect what students want to study and complement the new jobs that are on the market.”