The future is sunny for budding entrepreneurs from North Wales

A group of teenagers from Rhyl have spent the summer learning vital skills which could turn them into the UK’s future entrepreneurs.

Llwyddo'n Lleol  Budding entrpreneurs at the oaktree centre, Rhyl. pupils from Blessed Edward Jones school who took part in a business course. Pictured is Alex Wilson and Jack Parry-Jones.

The 10 pupils of Blessed Edward Jones High School laid down plans to set up their own bustling production line making uniquely designed t-shirts and novelty mugs.

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The dynamic workforce volunteered to spend part of their summer school-break learning about cutting-edge 21st century business practices via the week-long course backed by Llwyddo’n Lleol, a project funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government to help young people across Denbighshire develop their career paths.

In what has been one of the hottest summers in years, the heat really was on for the budding entrepreneurs. But they quickly rose to the challenge of thinking up an innovative new business idea, designing original artwork and logos to promote the product and formulating a master plan for getting their idea off the drawing board and out into the real world.

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The wannabe tycoons came up with a proposal for developing a subliminal printing business, producing state-of-the-art custom-designed t-shirts, and mugs.

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Denbighshire Council’s Llwyddo’n Lleol Project Officer, Jenni Edwards, said: “I am really impressed with these young people. They took time out of their school holidays to do this, seeing that it would be a way to arm themselves with the skills needed to kick-start their future careers.

“The goal was for them to reach a stage by the end of the week where they had learned all the basic business skills and done the essential groundwork needed to apply for a bursary to help them put their plan into practice and launch a starter business when they return to school.”

The two teams achieved their goal and are now hopeful of officially launching a fully operating commercial business.

Anthony Brown one of the tutors who led the skills workshop, at the Oaktree Centre, Ffordd Las, Rhyl said: “We were funded by Llwyddo’n Lleol to guide and advise the students and to teach them the skills needed to set up a modern day business and develop it so that it can survive in today’s competitive marketplace. Once they learned the skills, it was the students who put them into practice doing the research, designs and marketing studies needed to turn their ideas into reality.”

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The team chose subliminal printing because it uses the most modern techniques, enabling designs to go into the very fabric of the subject matter they are printed on, rather than sit on the surface, vulnerable to scratches or chips.

They have yet to finalise a name for the business though Keeley Howard and Joshua Price, both aged 14, relished the task of thinking up possibilities.

“I thought of Sunny Printers,” said Keeley. “Because Rhyl’s nickname is Sunny Rhyl and it also conveys the fun nature of our products.”

Joshua opted for Wondrous Designs, with a multi-coloured logo to match.

Jack Parry-Jones, aged 13, said he was happy to give up part of his holidays to join the course, as one day he hopes to run his own business.

He said: “I’m not sure what I want to produce yet, but this course has helped me learn more about the type of skills I’ll need to achieve my ambition when I eventually leave school.”

Jayne Smith of Blessed Edwards Jones added: “Llwyddo’n Lleol has been invaluable in enabling this course to happen, recognising the need to equip young people with the resources to survive in the modern workplace.

“It’s so important to make younger generations aware as early as possible of the opportunities which are out there for them.

“The business ideas they develop here can be put into practice when they go back to school, and used as a launch pad for a commercial school printing business. What’s more as these pupils leave school, they can hand over the reins to younger pupils coming through, so they will also benefit from hands-on business experience. As for the leavers, they can include their roles in running the school business on their CVs to prospective employers.”

The business workshop is just one of a number of Denbighshire projects supported by Llwyddo’n Lleol whose objectives are to build people’s entrepreneurial skills to boost their employment potential, to foster increased confidence among younger generations in the various opportunities local communities can offer them and to nurture a can do attitude.

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