StartUp Britain bus

The StartUp Britain bus rolled into Cardiff today for the culmination of the third ‘Trading Places’ project. 

In association with NatWest, Morgan Quarter, EE and HE Enterprise Hub, 36 students from further education colleges in South Wales were chosen to develop a business plan and sell products in the Morgan Quarter arcade in the city centre.

On the first day of the three-day Apprentice-style event, the students were whittled down to just 36 and split into teams of six, and on the second day given less than 24 hours to plan what products to sell, pricing, marketing.

The store opened for one-day only today (Thursday), with each team given a section each. Using NatWest technology, the team used real-time data on sales to allow them to adjust their strategy accordingly.

Andrew Tummon, a member of the NatWest team running the project, said: “[Initiatives like Trading Places] are needed because the economy needs entrepreneurship, it needs enterprise. And NatWest is delighted to be involved in this particular event because it’s students, as young people, getting involved in some cases for the first time in enterprise.

Corey Marshall, a 19-year old business studies student from Ebbw Vale is planning to launch his own accountancy firm. Part of one of the teams selling products at the pop-up shop, he told me why he wanted to take part in the Trading Places project.

Corey said: “I’m currently studying business and since this is business-related, it’s an awesome opportunity to get involved with. I feel like it will help me in the future because I do want to start my own business.

“It [initiatives like Trading Places] are really important at the moment. Statistically, young people are starting their own businesses, they’re not going into employment and I think it really helps people who want to become self-employed in the future.”