A team of business-savvy school children from Barry have beaten hundreds of pupils from across Wales, to be crowned the winners of a Welsh Government national competition looking to find and nurture entrepreneurial young talent from across the country.
Pupils from Cadoxton Primary School picked up the top title at the annual Enterprise Troopers competition which took place at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff.
After demonstrating their entrepreneurial attitude and business acumen, Cadoxton Primary were presented with the top prize for their business idea, Real Junk Food Café, which is to reuse food waste from supermarkets at a local community café.
Enterprise Troopers, an annual competition run by Big Ideas Wales – part of the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Service – brings together 5 to 11 year olds from across the country, with teams of primary school children joining together to run their own enterprises, selling merchandise and services of their choosing in their schools and local communities. The competition is supported by NatWest Cymru as part of its work helping young people towards a better financial future.
Showing their support for the pupils at the national final and each regional event were four ‘super-troopers’, which represent the key attributes of entrepreneurship: attitude, creativity, relationships and organisation.
14 schools represented the regions of Wales at the event at Cardiff Metropolitan University, which marked the competition finale, following a month of regional finals that took place at venues across Wales in Conwy, Pembrokeshire, Torfaen and Powys.
Sarah Brooks, teacher from Cadoxton Primary School, said:
“Our pupils are so excited to have won Enterprise Troopers 2018. Cadoxton’s Real Junk Food Cafe has given the children an opportunity to collaborate, develop ambition, make healthy choices, problem solve and put real life skills into practice. There’s been such value in their learning and they’ve had a huge impact on our community. They have learned key business and communication skills and grown to be resilient, capable children who will fondly remember this experience. We’re incredibly proud of all of them and can’t wait to see the Real Junk Food Cafe continue to grow!”
The day’s accolades were presented by Ross McEwan, CEO NatWest, who sponsor the event. He said:
“This competition is the perfect opportunity for primary school children across Wales to develop skills essential for the workplace. All the pupils that took part showed true entrepreneurship, however Cadoxton Primary School was a deserving winner, demonstrating a real flare for and an inventiveness in their approach, after facing tough competition from across the country. I hope every pupil taking part has grown in confidence and developed a love for enterprise that will set them up for continued success going forward.”
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams, who attended the event and gave a speech to the pupils, said:
“I want to congratulate all the pupils who made it to the final. Their “can-do” attitude combined with plenty of entrepreneurial flair, creativity, imagination and determination – all very important skills for the future – made for a hotly-contested competition.
“Enterprise Troopers builds up an excellent partnership between schools and the local business community and I want to thank the businesses involved for the way they helped and supported the pupils.
“I also want to thank the teachers and schools who, as well going the extra mile to provide opportunities for the pupils, have also wholeheartedly embraced the principles behind Wales’ new curriculum – using enterprise as a way to apply pupils’ literacy, numeracy and digital skills in a practical, fun and engaging way.”
Cardiff Metropolitan University played host to the event and proudly sponsored the national final. Jo Bowers, Associate Dean for Innovation and International, at Cardiff Met said:
“Developing enterprise skills in these early years is crucial to inspire the next generation of savvy entrepreneurs and we have been so impressed by the business acumen presented by the Enterprise Troopers finalists. We wish all the pupils the best for the future as they prepare to play a full part in the world of work.”
Runners-up awards were presented to Ysgol Y Bont Faen from Cowbridge, Maerdy Primary from Ferndale and Ysgol Y Lawnt from Rhymney who impressed the judges with their business ideas including reusing plastic waste to make pencil cases and café where parents can learn Welsh.
Thomas Roberts from Ysgol Tanycastell in Harlech and Ffion Williams from Ysgol Y Lawnt were awarded the 2018 Star Trooper Award while Jodie Stokes and Scott Beale from Caedraw Primary School and Tom Russell from Cefn Cribwr Primary took home the Teacher Trooper Award.
The Enterprise Troopers final was also sponsored by Keep Wales Tidy/ECO Schools, Letterbox Lab and Impact School Improvement Ltd.
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.