The Premier League Enterprise Academy programme was set up to help teach 11-19 year-olds the basic principles of business and self-employment.
Inspired by a model pioneered at Middlesbrough, the Enterprise Academy has seen 135,000 pupils taking part in its first two years, with more than 1,500 young people securing university entry-level qualifications as a result of the programme.
The work done by Middlesbrough, alongside successful programmes delivered by professional football club community schemes at Blackburn Rovers and Burnley, highlighted an opportunity for other clubs to engage young people in the enterprise agenda.
In 2008, the Premier League, in partnership with the Government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), agreed plans for a national roll-out, with Manchester City and Aston Villa running pilot projects.
Based around a 10-week course first developed by Middlesbrough, the programme helps 14-16-year-olds understand the basic principles of business through a range of interactive learning opportunities both in the classroom and at football stadia.
With funding from the PLPFA Community Fund and the Regional Development Agencies, 12 clubs are now delivering the programme to thousands of young people and giving them an OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) accreditation.
Manchester City star Nigel de Jong said: "I've been very impressed with the Premier League Enterprise Academy. It’s great to see that even at a young age kids are thinking about what they can do later in life. Everyone needs to plan for their future and the kids that I met will do well if they carry on as they’ve started."