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Future bright for young entrepreneurs

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.”