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Wales’ brightest young entrepreneurs develop ‘big ideas’ at Cardiff Bootcamp event

Nearly forty aspiring young entrepreneurs from across Wales now have the essentials skills to make their business dreams a reality after completing a two-day intensive residential Bootcamp.

Big Ideas Wales’ ‘Bootcamp to Business’ event took place over the weekend (23-24 November) at the Urdd Centre in Cardiff Bay, open to business minded young people aged 18-25. The aspiring businesspeople were awarded a place at the fully funded Bootcamp event following auditions with a panel of business owners.

The biannual two-day event featured a series of business workshops ran by established Welsh businesspeople dedicated to expanding the knowledge of the young entrepreneurs, growing their network of connections and ultimately helping them to launch their business.

The entrepreneurs who successfully earned their place at Bootcamp travelled from across Wales to attend, with a business idea under their belt that they are ready to start and grow. From practicing pitching to the business essentials, the young people left with a wealth of knowledge on how to launch their business.

Fellow young entrepreneurs who have previously engaged with Big Ideas Wales and gone on to start a business also attended to share their experiences with the new group of aspiring businesspeople. This included 22-year-old Shaunnah Crosbie from Caerphilly, a costume and clothes designer who set up her own business, Shaunnah’s Sew Crafty.

Since engaging with Big Ideas Wales’ services, Shaunnah has gone on to work in the costume department for major TV productions including Doctor Who and the hit Netflix series Sex Education. As well as her own designs, Shaunnah runs workshops to teach other young designers from her studio in Llantrisant, south Wales.

She said: “Big Ideas Wales has been instrumental in my business journey so it feels really rewarding that I’ve gone full circle and become a Young Ambassador, which essentially means I can pass on my experience and knowledge to the next group of up and coming business people in Wales.

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“The intensive Bootcamp event is hugely valuable to anyone just starting out and gives aspiring businesspeople the opportunity to absorb as much information as possible before launching their enterprise. Working and living with like-minded people for the weekend formed the basis of a great network which has since provided a number of collaboration opportunities, from building my website to sourcing marketing activities and sharing costs at fayres and markets. I am encouraging the current Bootcampers to do the same.”

22-year-old Ben Humphries, originally from South Africa and now studying business at Swansea University, was awarded the Bootcamp to Business Achievement Award for excelling over the weekend. Ben’s currently developing his business, Calibar, a sportswear brand which will use sustainable materials over the non-environmentally friendly polyester materials predominantly used in sportswear apparel currently.

Speaking about the event, Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “The Welsh Government is as committed as ever to supporting the thriving entrepreneurial spirit we have here in Wales. This weekend, Bootcamp to Business marked the end of Global Entrepreneurship Week, with Big Ideas Wales supporting a range of entrepreneurial events across Wales during the week, many in colleges and universities.

“It’s great to see so many young entrepreneurs at Bootcamp this weekend being inspired and encouraged by others in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I wish them the best of luck in their endeavours.”

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