Thirty-six South Wales students are about to take on the challenge of their life so far as they prepare to compete for sales during one of Cardiffâ€™s busiest retail periods as part of an entrepreneurial challenge.
The budding young entrepreneurs are through to the finals of Trading Places, a challenge designed to encourage entrepreneurship among college students in South East Wales, providing real life enterprise experience.
Over three days in the lead up to Christmas, the students from Coleg y Cymoedd, Bridgend College, Coleg Gwent, The College Merthyr Tydfil, St Davidâ€™s Catholic College and Cardiff and Vale College will take part in a three-day real-life business experience leading to them running their own pop-up shop in Cardiff city centreâ€™s Morgan Quarter.
The final six students from each college competed against 120 others during an assessment event involving role models and entrepreneurs from the Welsh Governmentâ€™s Big Ideas Wales campaign at EEâ€™s Wales headquarters at Merthyr Tydfil in November.
The finals take place in Cardiff between 15th and 17th December. The six students from Coleg y Cymoedd are Rebecca Cope, Performing Arts; Alex Davies, Sport; Efan Davies, Sport; Natasha Parry, Business Studies; Tahlia Taylor, A Level and Mali Lewis, A Level
Bob Tod, Enterprise, Employability & Skills officer from Coleg y Cymoedd, said: â€œI am delighted with this yearâ€™s team representing Coleg y Cymoedd. As in previous years the learners have stepped up to the plate to take on the Trading Places challenge. They excelled themselves during the selection day and thoroughly deserve their places in the ultimate event. They have been chosen from three of the college campuses and I am sure they will do their individual campus and the college as a whole proud. I am looking forward to working with them all during the December final and I know it will be an experience they will not forget.â€
â€œWeâ€™re in our fourth year now and Trading Places has become a national exemplar of how to engage with young people who have the potential to become entrepreneurs of the future,â€ said Chris Webb of Further Education Co-ordinator of First Campus, which organises and co-ordinates the event.
â€œThe finalists have already demonstrated their entrepreneurial streak to a panel of Big Ideas Wales entrepreneurs and role models and now they go forward putting that into practice in a real life business environment.â€
Over the three day finals they will spend time at Cardiff University and the University of South Wales learning about customer service, putting together business plans, sourcing products and then selling to the public at a shop provided by the Morgan Quarter in Cardiff city centre during one of the busiest retail periods leading up to Christmas.
â€œItâ€™ll be a very intense experience for them all, but theyâ€™ll learn a lot from the mentors and entrepreneurs as well as their own entrepreneurial streak as they compete for the final prize,â€ added Chris.
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Heol y Coleg
Rhondda Cynon Taff