Entrepreneurial Merthyr students set to make their mark at Enterprise Skills Day


Enterprising students from The College Merthyr Tydfil will be taking part in an Enterprise Skills Day today, Friday 18th November.

The Enterprise Skills Day, which is being held at Cardiff City Stadium will bring together 120 of the most entrepreneurial college students from across south Wales and set them a series of skills based challenges to determine which of them will go on to manage stalls in a pop-up Christmas boutique in Cardiff city centre – in an initiative known as ‘Trading Places’.  

A new-look new event to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week, The Enterprise Skills Day aims to inspire the next generation of young Welsh entrepreneurs, through a series of theoretical and practical challenges.

The College Merthyr Tydfil winners of the Enterprise Skills Day event will go on to manage a number of festive stalls at the ‘Trading Places’ Christmas boutique. The stalls will be operated by six teams of six students, with each student in a team hailing from a different college from across South Wales. Other colleges participating in the event are Bridgend College, Cardiff and Vale College, Coleg Gwent, Coleg y Cymoedd and St David’s Catholic College.

Chris Bissex, Head of Enterprise at The College Merthyr Tydfil, commented: “Events like Big Ideas Wales’ Enterprise Skills Day and Trading Places provide our a unique opportunity for our students to learn from established Welsh entrepreneurs and test their innovation, creativity and fortitude in a competitive business context. 

“Working collaboratively with students from other colleges, formulating entrepreneurial ideas of their own, and facing some very real challenges equips them with vital real world skills – all of which is integral in aiding their personal development.”

Housed within Cardiff’s Morgan Quarter, this UK award winning project has helped inspire a change in business strategy for the privately owned arcade, who have hosted previous Big Ideas Wales events.

Morgan Quarter director, Rory Fleming, said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome back another group of young entrepreneurs for Trading Places, for what will undoubtedly be a fun and festive occasion.

“Partly because of such initiatives, we’ve opened up a number of permanent short-term trading spaces in the Morgan Quarter, which we hope will meet the demand for a more fluid entrepreneurial climate.”

A graduate of a previous Trading Places event and former college student, Lee Williams, 26, now runs the award-winning cleaning business Maid in Wales in his native Merthyr. Commenting on his own experiences, he said: “The knowledge and practical skills I developed at the Enterprise Skills Day and Trading Places was invaluable to my evolution as an entrepreneur.

“It is really encouraging to see such initiatives in action in Wales – inspiring the next generation of Welsh entrepreneurs, and equipping them with the practical experience of running their own enterprise.”

Sponsored by NatWest and EE, the Enterprise Skills Day ultimately seeks to hone the ambitions of budding young entrepreneurs, like Lee Williams and act as a catalyst to turn business ideas into viable start-up opportunities.

First Campus, the South East Wales Reaching Wider partnership, raises the aspirations and Higher Education awareness of learners through activities and workshops which take place at Higher Education institutions.

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.

Trading Places will take place on 15th December 2016 in Cardiff’s Morgan Quarter.

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