A group of creative students and graduates from Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff University and University of South Wales have been given a test trading opportunity at the Cardiff Christmas Market organised by CraftFolk.
The three universities form the Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy South East Wales Higher Educational Hub (The Hub) which is funded by Welsh Government. The Hub works together on a range of collaborative events throughout the year aimed at developing students' and graduates' entrepreneurial mind-set and skills.
Over a three week period from November 12th to December 5th, 17 students have traded from a wooden hut in The Hayes, Cardiff. The cost of hiring the hut was covered by The Hub, providing students with an excellent opportunity to test trade. This has allowed them to sell their products, test the market, check their pricing and gain valuable feedback on their products. A range of products were sold over the three week period including ceramics, canvas art, and handmade furniture.
Support has been provided to the students ahead of their test trading opportunity for example a workshop was arranged for the students at Cardiff Metropolitan University which covered stall design, product displays, branding and selling. The workshop was delivered by Cardiff Metropolitan University's Centre for Student Entrepreneurship with support from local contemporary jewellery designer and maker Karen Dell'Armi.
Lauren Davies, Entrepreneurship Coordinator at the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship commented: 'We are continually looking for new ways to provide students and graduates with hands-on experiences of running their own business and the Cardiff Christmas Market is the ideal opportunity for doing so.'
The final trading day for The Hub falls on Saturday December 5th which is also Small Business Saturday, a national campaign which encourages consumers to shop locally and buy from small businesses. Lauren Davies added:
'The Cardiff Christmas Market is the ideal place to celebrate and support Small Business Saturday with a vast array of unique products on offer from small, local businesses. We are really pleased to be supporting this campaign on the final day of our test trading period. We hope that the consumers of Cardiff will be out in force to show their support for local entrepreneurs.'
Anna Palamar, an Illustration graduate from Cardiff Metropolitan University who has benefitted from the test trading experience commented:
'It gave me a real trading experience, better understanding of who my potential customer is and what direction would be appropriate for utilising my skills in the future. I received lots of feedback both from other sellers and the customers. I was very happy about seeing people interested in my products and ready to pay for them. Thanks for this opportunity!'
Notes to editors
The Centre for Student Entrepreneurship is Cardiff Metropolitan University's dedicated department for supporting student and graduate entrepreneurs: www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/entrepreneurship
Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to 'shop local' and support small businesses in their communities: www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/about-us
The Cardiff Christmas Market is organised by craft fair organisers CraftFolk: www.craftfolk.com