A team of business-savvy school children from Abergele have won a national competition looking for talented young entrepreneurs in Wales.
Pupils from Ysgol Bro Cernyw picked up the top title at the annual Enterprise Troopers competition, which was live streamed to a panel of judges at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Enterprise Troopers is delivered by Big Ideas Wales, the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Service.
After impressing the judges with their business acumen and entrepreneurial flair, Ysgol Bro Cernyw were presented with the top prize for their business idea ‘Bocs Codi Calon’, a ‘heart lifting box’ of baked goods that are made and delivered by the school pupils and advertised on social media and in the local paper. After the challenges facing people during the coronavirus pandemic, the budding entrepreneurs came up with the business idea as a way to lift people’s spirits.
On top of their win, Ysgol Bro Cernyw’s head teacher, Einir Davies, was selected for the Teacher Trooper Award this year.
Also in North Wales, Denbigh based Ysgol Llannefydd also stood out to the judges with their business idea ‘Blas y Llan’, selling homemade jam and sauces from ingredients sustainably grown by the pupils, claiming the runners up prize. Meanwhile Ysgol Bro Aled also made it through to the national final and secured the Curriculum Links Award.
Speaking about the competition, the Minister for the Economy Vaughan Gething MS said: “We want to see more young people setting up their own businesses here in Wales. So developing enterprise skills in these early years is crucial in order to inspire the next generation of savvy entrepreneurs to do just that. The Welsh Government is proud to be supporting this initiative, which gives our youngest pupils an engaging and exciting introduction to the world of business, allowing them to use their creative flair to tackle sustainability challenges and support their community.
“This link between schools and businesses is crucial in our efforts to develop a more entrepreneurial culture. Our schools have continued to work hard to help develop the entrepreneurial skills of our young people despite the challenges of the pandemic. Their resilience, and the talent of our budding entrepreneurs is clear to see from the standard of entry in the competition.”
Enterprise Troopers showcases the enterprising capabilities of 5- 11 year olds from Primary Schools across the country, with teams of primary school children creating their own enterprises and developing key skills like team work, creative thinking and budgeting. The competition recognises the work undertaken by schools to embed enterprise, aligned to the new curriculum and the work undertaken by schools to introduce these work related experiences at this young age.
Einir Davies, head teacher at Ysgol Bro Cernyw said: “Enterprise Troopers has been an incredibly valuable opportunity for our pupils who have learnt and developed new skills, in spite of the challenges they’ve faced with the pandemic. Seeing their initial ideas transform into something more practical has been really rewarding. It has also supported our teaching of key enterprise skills for young people through the new curriculum. I’d definitely encourage other schools to take part and support their pupils to develop these important skills.”
Associate sponsor NatWest Cymru were part of the panel of judges and got to see first-hand the business ideas presented by Welsh primary school children. Cheryl Gourlay, National Enterprise Manager from NatWest Cymru said of the national final: “It’s clear from the entries in this year’s Enterprise Troopers that there is really promising young business talent in Wales. As a bank we want to empower children and young people to understand their innate capabilities and to recognise key skills required in the future world of work. I hope every pupil taking part has grown in confidence and developed a love for enterprise that will set them up for continued success going forward.”
Enterprise Troopers is also sponsored by Cardiff Metropolitan University, Social Enterprise Stakeholder Group (SESG), Keep Wales Tidy, ECO Schools and Buffoon Media.
Big Ideas Wales forms part of the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service and funded by EU funds. The service is aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea, including students and graduates.