Education Business Partnerships

Students wow judges with innovative business ideas

Students wow judges with innovative business ideas

Over 7,000 students from across the region have wowed judges with their innovative business ideas, during the first round of the Swansea Bay Young Business Dragons competition.

Teams from Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and Carmarthenshire battled it out for the opportunity to represent their school in the next stage of the popular event, which sees students embark on a programme that aims to inspire them to become future entrepreneurs.

The event is challenging teams of 14-15 year olds to create and develop a business idea around the theme of UK Festivals. School teams compete in an inter-school round and qualifying teams will go onto the area semi-finals in October.

Business ideas developed by the teams have ranged from High Tec Apps to designer festival wellington boots to bio-degradable tents. 40 teams have now made it through to the semi-final of the competition in the hope of being selected for the regional finals in November.

The main event sponsor is Wales & West Utilities. Graham Edwards, Company Chief Executive said ‘‘we are very proud to be once again supporting this event. Last year’s competition had such a positive impact on the young people and mentors that took part – it is remarkable. This year it seems that the high standards are yet again evident. The business ideas in round 1 of the competition have been fantastic and truly inspirational. We would like to wish all 40 teams the very best of luck for the next stage and look forward to seeing who will be 1 of only 6 teams selected for the actual final.’’

Just over 50 local businesses have volunteered their time along with Economic Regeneration staff from the 3 local authorities who make up the Swansea Bay Partnership. These people will now share time, experience and expertise to mentor the students, with some companies undertaking additional partnership working with their relevant school.

The competition which is organised by Swansea Bay in Partnership with Careers Wales culminates during National Enterprise week in November with a Dragon’s Den style final at Ffos Las Racecourse in Carmarthenshire. There, 6 teams from the semi finals will pitch their business ideas to a judging panel of business people.

Andrew Wonklyn, Team Manager in the West region, stated that he hoped the young people participating will benefit from learning new qualities and skills, which will help assist them in their future career planning and working life. The team of Claire, Emma, Gareth, Liz, Carl and Julie have undertaken a lot of co-ordination and brokerage with the three Local Authorities and all the companies involved. This has resulted in greater benefits to our schools with more employers supporting more appropriate and quality initiatives.

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