Porth learner is hoping experience at SkillsCymru will help new business venture

A team of Coleg y Cymoedd catering students are one step closer to winning a £3000 helping hand to see their business dream become a reality.

Future Foods, made up of Liam Williams (17) from Llantrisant, Robert Haycox (17) from Ferndale, Lauren Quinn (19) from Tonypandy and Flynn Randell (17) from Pontypridd have been shortlisted for the team Edge Challenge prize alongside just two other student teams from around the country. A further six individual contestants have also been shortlisted.

The Edge Challenge is a competition set up by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation in partnership with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and the Gazelle Colleges Group. It aims to help young entrepreneurs get their business start-up off the ground.

Teams of up to five people or individuals were asked to submit a detailed and viable business proposal including financial and marketing plans.

Future Foods innovative idea –Monkey Nuts, a mobile van selling healthy food to students, staff and the public – has set them apart from the competition and they have made it through to the next stage.

The next hurdle is a business pitch to a panel of judges in London, alongside the other shortlisted candidates from around the country.

Then, the top two teams and top three individual pitches and will be invited to showcase their ideas at The Skills Show, taking place at the NEC in Birmingham from November 13-15th.The winning team will take the first prize of £5000 to develop their idea. The top prize for individual entrants is £3000 and six months of mentoring from a top businessman, 2nd and 3rd prizes of £1250 and £750 will also be awarded.

Future Foods say: We are all very excited about the opportunity to represent the college in this amazing and exciting challenge. We named our team Future Foods as we are all catering students looking forward to the opportunity to open our own business as a team. We would like to thank our much dedicated tutors Mr Kevin Hall and Ms Paula Marsh for keeping with us throughout our journey with the Edge Challenge.”

Jan Hodges OBE, CEO of independent education charity, the Edge Foundation, says:

“At Edge we believe there are many paths to success for young people to take and becoming an entrepreneur is certainly an excellent and exciting route to choose. I wish Future Foods the best of luck ahead of the London panel.”

Peter Jones CBE, Founder of the Peter Jones Foundation says: “Future Foods have done a superb job in getting to this stage of the Edge Challenge. This competition really demonstrates the talent young people have, not just in thinking up new ideas and products, but in following them through and creating viable businesses. At the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, we work hard to instil these entrepreneurial attributes in our students and I am delighted to see Future Foods leading the way. ”

Fintan Donohue, CEO Gazelle Colleges Group, says: “We are delighted to see the Edge Foundation and our colleagues from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, embrace the wider definition of entrepreneurship. Many of the young people in the competition may never actually take forward their own business but the experimentation with start-up has developed a mind-set that will strengthen their employment prospects.

“At Gazelle, enterprise competition is becoming an integral part of student experience. The student role models that are winners today help create a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship in the colleges they come from.”

Catering courses are offered at our Aberdare, Nantgarw and Ystrad Mynach campuses. Please call a campus to discuss joining a full time or part time Catering course, either for 2014/15 as a late starter, or for next September 15/16.



Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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