Entrepreneurial students shone at Cirencester youth market
Original artwork, glittering sunglasses and a tourism company were just some of the growing student businesses on show at this year’s Cirencester youth market.
The event doubled in size from 2018 with twenty four stalls in total. Eight enterprises on show from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) included its own Muddy Wellies beer and Cotswold Hills dry white wine, as well as businesses ranging from clothing to marketing services. The market is organised by Cirencester Town Council and the E4 Group, consisting of the RAU, Cirencester College, Deer Park and Kingshill schools, which supports and encourages young enterprise.
Rendcomb College were there along with Deer Park School who were fundraising for their upcoming Ghana volunteering trip.
Elizabeth Boher, a first year Business student at the RAU, won the Best Business Concept prize for her country clothing and accessories collection enterprise. This category was judged by the Mayor of Cirencester. Elizabeth said: “It was very exciting to get my products out for the first time. The youth market was the perfect place for me to learn what works and what doesn't. To win the award for best business concept was just the icing on the cake! Very rewarding and motivating to see that my efforts have been recognised and the feedback has been invaluable”.
RAU graduate Jen Winnett, who sold her artwork including hand-designed cards, won the best dressed stall prize. This category was judged by Annemarie Thurgood, the President of Cirencester Chamber of Commerce.
Other RAU enterprises included Baron’s Leather Goods with founder Dominic Cooper, first year Business and Real Estate student Harry Beard’s Gen Z Marketing Consultancy business; Future Labs. Maria Perry brought sparkle to the market with her sunglasses company GlittaGlo, whilst Josephine Laurence came with her woven bags.
Katy Duke, Head of Enterprise at the RAU, said: “The youth market is a fantastic initiative which gives the town’s young entrepreneurs a platform to develop their business acumen and test their business concepts. For a number of our students this was their first day trading, with all of them sealing sales. Hopefully this event will help to give them the confidence they need to continue developing their enterprises.”
The market comes in the same month as the RAU gained Centre of Excellence status from the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) - the only small, specialist university to be given this accolade.
The University’s award-winning Enterprise Programme has seen over 50 successful businesses created so far and its annual Grand Idea competition is judged by business leaders including Dragons Den winner Levi Roots, of Reggae Reggae Sauce fame.