PhonepayPlus Launches PhoneBrain 2011

PhonepayPlus, the UK national regulator for premium rate telephone services (PRS), has launched PhoneBrain 2011, which will challenge potential young business leaders in low-income areas to come up with business models that use mobile for the benefit of the local community.

Running for the past two years in UK schools, the PhoneBrain programme was put together by PhonepayPlus, with input from the PRS industry and teachers. The initiative helps young people to understand and use PRS, particularly on their mobiles, safely and wisely, identifying what responsible, compliant services look like and what to be aware of when accessing services. In two years, PhoneBrain has reached 20 per cent of schools nationwide, with thousands of students taking part. In 2011, the programme aims to break new ground with ambitious plans to expand.

This year, PhonepayPlus is joining forces with the social entrepreneurship charity, Live UnLtd, to offer a number of bursaries, together with mentoring, to help the best business ideas that have social and community benefits to get up and running. For the first time, the programme is also being rolled out to youth clubs throughout the UK via the Clubs for Young People network.

The PRS market in the UK is worth £810m annually, and is an area ripe for business and social entrepreneurship. Recent innovations such as charity text donations are breaking new ground and opening up models that benefit both business and the community.

“We’re really pleased to be working with Clubs for Young People and Live UnLtd for the first time, and feel that their involvement clearly focuses the objective of this year’s programme – showing how technology, a topic young people are passionate about, can be used for good community and business ends,” says PhonepayPlus chief executive, Paul Whiteing. “The message from the regulator and from the PRS industry in general is that ‘Responsible business is good business’ and we look forward to judging the entries to the entrepreneurship challenge.”

 There’s more information about PhoneBrain 2011 here.