School-aged entrepreneurs in Powys are turning their bright ideas into bourgeoning businesses

First published:
17 August 2016
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Businesses include a popcorn and crepe concession, a gardening service, hand knitted gift bags, home sewn baby and children’s items while one teenage school pupil runs a group of companies that range from the sale of home baked cakes and biscuits to mobile discos. 

The Youth Market – which offers free stalls, advice and support - has been the catalyst in encouraging young entrepreneurs to follow their dream and either launch a business or develop an existing business.

Initiated last September to coincide with Support your local High Street campaign there have been three youth markets to date in the town that are open to any young entrepreneurs - and street entertainers and performers - under 25 years of age and living in Powys.

Some of the budding businesses – many of whom are pupils at Llandrindod Wells High School - are now also trading at other community events, selling through social media and offering their services at carnivals, parties and celebrations.

Supported by Llandrindod Wells Town Champion Jude Boutle, the young traders now take a lead in running the market, have an active role on the youth market committee and are already planning an anniversary market on September 17 – to mark the first birthday of the venture.

The initial aim was to increase footfall, bring more shoppers into town, identify and encourage future entrepreneurs while complementing the existing shopping experience. In addition to trade stalls, the Youth Market features a vibrant street entertainment scene.

Economy Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said: 

“The Youth Market complements our youth entrepreneurship services that are delivered through Big Ideas Wales and designed to encourage and support young people to be innovative and entrepreneurial. It’s great to see how many young people are making a real success of their budding businesses, working hard, making a profit and learning some invaluable lessons along the way.”

The Youth Market is an initiative from a pilot business-led approach to address the economic sustainability of Llandrindod Wells as part of a wider package of support being delivered to the Powys Local Growth Zone. 

Town Champion Jude Boutle , whose role is funded by the Welsh Government, reports to and works with the Llandrindod Wells Business Group to drive forward priorities of the Economic Regeneration Action Plan for the town. 

Jude said: 

“The young traders at Youth Market show such originality in what they make and sell and the young performers are so confident and talented! Youth Market also provides opportunities for young people to experience stage management, being the Health and Safety Officer or liaising with local businesses. I’m really looking forward to our one year anniversary market on September 17th.”