National Enterprise Award for South-East Wales Trading Places initiative


The ‘Trading Places Enterprise project’, which is led by First Campus, in partnership with Welsh Government Big Ideas Wales and coordinated through the South-East Wales Regional Enterprise Hub, has successfully won the FE Enterprise Champion 2015 category in the National Enterprise Educator Awards.

The Awards, which were held at Hylands House on Thursday 10th September, seek to recognise excellence within enterprise education. The aim is to reward and celebrate those who have demonstrated an exceptional and inspirational commitment to supporting student and graduate entrepreneurship in further and higher education in the UK.

Chris Bissex, Head of Enterprise and Employability at The College Merthyr Tydfil and lead of the South East Wales hub, commented “We are delighted to win this award. Trading places provides a fantastic opportunity for the students to gain experience of effectively presenting and selling their products in a real life business situation and the award recognises all the hard work put in by the six colleges who are members of the Hub and First campus."

Trading Places, which launched in 2013, aims to help youngsters understand how they can become entrepreneurs by developing their “big ideas”. The challenge involves six teams of students from colleges across South-East Wales, including Bridgend College, Coleg Gwent, Coleg Y Cymoedd, The College Merthyr Tydfil, St David’s Catholic College and Cardiff and Vale College, who come together and participate in a series of workshop activities in a bid to demonstrate their business and enterprise skills, prior to launching a pop-up shop for trading.

The winning team is the one that displays the most effective business management skills and demonstrates the best teamwork throughout the course of the project.

The project has been extremely successful in working with businesses to provide college students with first hand advice, skills and experience on developing and marketing a business strategy and enabling them to put their researching, negotiating, buying and promotion skills to the test.

Supported by NatWest and EE, the project is run over a three day period providing students with an opportunity to participate in workshops activities centred around the key aspects of the ACRO ‘Understanding entrepreneurship Model’ encouraging them to think strategically and innovatively about the skills required to run a successful business - including attitude, creativity, relationships and organisation.

NatWest relationship manager Andrew Tummon, who delivered a series of Meet the Bank Manager sessions during the 2014 challenge commented "The Trading Places project provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain  strong entrepreneurial skills which will stand them in good stead whether they choose to start their own enterprise or go into employment. More and more young people are seeing self-employment as a viable and rewarding career option, and events such as Trading Places give them a great insight into the realities of running a business. I really enjoyed being part of the project.”

Allison McCarthy, Senior Operations Manager at EE commented “EE are proud to be involved with such the Trading Places project. We really enjoyed running workshops for the students to really encourage them to showcase their creative side, competiveness, communication and presentation skills and demonstrate how they would sell their product”.



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