On 6th June primary school children from across Cardiff took part in an entrepreneurial competition which aimed 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 17 primary schools from across South East 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 4th July 2017. 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 Cardiff schools including St Patricks RC Primary, Grangetown, St Pauls Church in Wales Primary School, Grangetown and Trowbridge Primary School, Rumney, wowed the judges at the regional final of the Enterprise Troopers Competition at Blaenau Gwent’s Eden Education Centre, which saw 72 pupils from 18 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 is 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.
Two of the four successful schools heading to the final are based in Cardiff, including Howells School in Llandaff, and Creigiau Primary School, impressing the judges with business ideas such as a greetings card company, running a tuck shop and creating handmade gifts.
Pupils as young as Foundation Phase were also involved in the regional final, showing off their best business ideas, including developing a homemade soap and marshmallow brand, in which Howells School were named the overall winner. The Star Trooper award – given to the most outstanding pupil on the day – was presented to Amelie Caesar, also from Howells School.
Speaking at the event, Laura Davies, teacher at Howells School said: “We’re incredibly proud of our pupils from key stage 2 and the Foundation Phase who were both successful today. They’ve thoroughly enjoyed the event and shown so much creativity through this process. We’re all really looking forward to the final, fingers crossed 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 Blaenau Gwent event, three other regional finals are taking place across Wales this month– in Pembrokeshire, 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 practice 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.”
Enterprise Troopers in Blaenau Gwent is also sponsored by Impact School Improvement Ltd, Big Learning Company, Letterbox Lab, Eden Education Centre, Crimesolvers Ltd and Centre 4 Entrepreneurial Education C4EE.
Big Ideas Wales forms part of the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Service. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund it helps young people aged between 5 and 25 to develop entrepreneurial skills.
To find out more about the competition contact www.enterprisetroopers.bigideaswales.com, or email [email protected] or call 0844 736 6150.