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Future bright for young entrepreneurs

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Through to the final: Ysgol Laugharne’s successful team with the ‘super troopers’

PRIMARY school children from across Carmarthenshire took part in a competition to find and nurture the most promising young business talent in Wales.

Enterprise Troopers, the annual competition run by Big Ideas Wales – part of the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Service – brings together 5 to 11 year olds from across the country, with participating learners joining together in teams to run their own enterprises, selling merchandise and services of their choosing in their schools and local communities.

Of the 15 primary schools from South West Wales that took part in the regional final, the four most exciting business ideas of the key stage two pupils will now head to the national final at Wales Millennium Centre on July 4. They will battle it out against other young entrepreneurs from across Wales, and present their shortlisted idea to a number of Big Ideas Wales Role Models and entrepreneurs in a bid to win the national title.

Pupils from schools including Peniel Community School and Ysgol Llys Hywel wowed the judges at the regional final of the Enterprise Troopers Competition at Folly Farm in Kilgetty, which saw 64 pupils from 16 teams in the region showcase their innovative business ideas for the future.

The competition aims to encourage creativity and business skills in young people, and challenges pupils across Wales to develop their own business ideas ahead of a national final in Cardiff next month. The intention being that the skills they learn and develop will ultimately provide them with an advantage when they eventually enter the workplace, or look to establish their own businesses.

One of the four successful schools came from Carmarthen, with Ysgol Laugharne impressing the judges with their ‘bags for life’ business idea.

Speaking at the event, Kimberley Perry, Ysgol Laugharne headteacher said: “Our pupils have thoroughly enjoyed the Enterprise Troopers event particularly the fun workshops and presenting our project to the judges. We are so proud of them for showing so much creativity throughout the process and for working so closely with local businesses and the community. We’re looking forward to the final now and crossing our fingers for more success there!”

Showing their support for the pupils at each regional final are four ‘super-troopers’, each representing the key attributes of entrepreneurship: attitude, creativity, relationships and organisation.

As well as the Pembrokeshire event, three other regional finals are taking place across Wales this month– in Blaenau Gwent, Llandudno and Swansea – ahead of the day-long national final in Cardiff in July​.​

The event’s headline sponsor, Hugh Evans, owner of Caernarfon Airport and Cardiff Heliport, said of the launch: “Encouraging entrepreneurial attitudes in children from an early age  allows them to develop life skills and talents that are essential to their development.

“It’s clear that so many of the children who presented their business ideas today are budding young entrepreneurs and it is my hope that they continue to develop their entrepreneurial outlook and business ventures over the years to come.”

Cheryl Gourlay, Enterprise Manager at NatWest said: “Enterprise Troopers is a fantastic opportunity for primary school children to practise and develop skills which will be important in the world of work, including teamwork, creativity, working to deadlines and budgeting. These will be vital to them whether they go on to set up their own businesses or not.

“We’ve seen plenty of these skills on display at today’s event as well as lots of promising business ideas. The future of enterprise in Wales certainly looks bright.”

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Drink driver hospitalised and arrested

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A MAN who was hospitalised after crashing his car on the B4310, Drefach, has also been arrested for drink driving.

The crash, which happened in the early hours of Sunday morning (Feb 18), destroyed the Mercedes he was driving.

He hit a van which was parked outside of a property, which was also damaged.

Dyfed-Powys Police, Welsh Ambulance Service, and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service personnel attended the scene.

A spokesman for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to reports of a road traffic collision at 12.50am on Sunday morning on the B4310 in Drefach.

“We sent crews from Pontyates and Tumble at the scene and one male was cut out of a car using hydraulic cutting equipment and taken to hospital.”

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‘Connecting Carmarthenshire’ campaign takes a leap forward

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Making progress: Jonathan Edwards MP, Adam Price AM and Geraint Trello

EFFORTS to improve the availability of high speed internet and good mobile phone signal took a leap forward this week as EE sets about switching on new mobile phone masts and launches its 4G Home Broadband solution.

Representatives of EE came to Carmarthenshire this weekend to meet with Member of Parliament, Jonathan Edwards and Assembly Member, Adam Price who have led a ‘Connecting Carmarthenshire’ campaign.

Their meeting, which took place near the site of one of two new mobile phone masts near Abergorlech, focused on the upgrades and improvements the company is undertaking across rural Carmarthenshire, with a particular focus on EE’s new 4G Home Broadband solution which can provide superfast broadband via an antenna on the house – a solution EE says could help around 580,000 homes nationwide gain access to high speed connectivity.

The Plaid Cymru politicians said the new improved mobile signal was itself “a big advancement”, but said the launch of the 4G antenna was “a leap forward” for connecting rural Carmarthenshire communities.

Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards said: “It was a pleasure to welcome EE to Carmarthenshire and continue our discussions on improving connectivity in rural Wales. One new mast will be switched on in Abergorlech in a matter of weeks, with another new mast for the Llansawel region with us later in the year.

“These new masts add to the 27 4G upgrades EE has carried out to existing sites in Carmarthenshire over the last 12 months, providing better coverage for rural communities including Llanybydder, Pencader and Llanarthne, adding to the upgrades from other mobile phone giants across the county.

“Perhaps the most impressive news this week is the launch of EE’s Home Broadband solution which, with the use of a small antenna on the home, can bring superfast broadband to the house. This looks like it could be the answer for many properties which have been left behind during the fixed line upgrades, or where they can only receive slower fixed broadband speeds.

“It’s not for an elected representative to promote a particular private company, but where there appears to be a solution for so many properties to get high speed internet, I have no problem in promoting the product – particularly because when it was trialed it delivered speeds over 100Mbps! This is a giant leap forward.

“Connecting Carmarthenshire is really starting to see positive results, but I’ll keep on working to ensure everyone I represent achieves good connectivity.”

Assembly Member Adam Price said: “The new sites in the Abergorlech area are the latest in a long time of upgrades in recent months, with the added bonus of those mobile signals being used for superfast internet in the home.

“Given that various grants for broadband solutions are available from the Welsh Government, we believe those who can’t get access to fixed broadband connections or receive a glacial pace connection may well be able to receive a grant to have products like 4G Home Broadband installed at their homes.

“I’d encourage anyone who is interested in a grant to cover the costs of delivering a step change in their broadband speeds to visit the Welsh Government’s website to check eligibility, or contact Jonathan and I where we can send information to them directly.

“More and more people across our Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency are seeing the benefits of good mobile phone signal and much faster broadband. We’ve still got a little way to go, but local residents are seeing big advancements. We’re delighted the Connecting Carmarthenshire campaign is delivering tangible results for the county.”

On the launch of EE’s 4G Home Broadband solution, Max Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing, EE said: “As our network continues to expand into some of the most remote parts of the UK, we’ve seen the amazing impact that 4G connectivity can have on rural communities. Our newest 4G home broadband router and antenna takes this one step further, ensuring thousands of families in rural areas across the UK could enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband inside their home for the very first time – whether video-calling the grandparents or streaming their favourite TV series.”

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4.4 magnitude earthquake felt across Wales

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AN earthquake of 4.4 magnitude has been felt across Wales and England this afternoon (Feb 17).

There are numerous reports of the earthquake being felt across west Wales, including Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The earthquake originated near Swansea, where it is was felt strongest, at around 2:30pm.

However, the earthquake was felt across Wales, and many parts of England.

The EMSC, an independent monitor of earthquakes, said: “Latest update of the effects of the #earthquake in #Swansea region. Was felt up to 300 km from epicentre.”

Dyfed-Powys Police received many reports about the incident, but said that there was no need for concern, and that they felt it themselves in their control room.

The police force said: “We are receiving an extremely high call volume reporting some sort of earth tremor in the area – we are receiving reports from across the whole of Wales (we felt it in our control room too!). For now – it is unexplained – but there is nothing to worry about.”

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