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Students from colleges across west Wales rose to the challenge of creating a new business as part of this year’s Regional Enterprise competition.

With the rural economies of west Wales being built on micro-businesses, the competition is one of the region’s key mechanisms for engaging with young entrepreneurs and giving them the support to develop business ideas with the hope that they will one day bring them to fruition.

A joint initiative between Big Ideas Wales, Business Wales, Business in Focus and the local colleges, students from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire were encouraged to take part.

Competition entrants were challenged with creating a new business in one of five key sectors; Tourism, Food, Retail, Care or the Creative Industries. The business was to exist on paper, only, but would be judged on how likely it would be to succeed.

The aim of the competition was to nurture young entrepreneurs and offer them not only financial support but continued business support to help them to flourish.

Pembrokeshire College learners threw themselves into the challenge with four business ideas making it through to the final stages and Level 2 Skills for Further Study students being crowned overall winners in the Food Category for their business ‘Small World’.

‘Small World’ creators, Jake Manning, Tilly Davies and Alona Radinovska attended an event at S4Cs offices last week to collect their award from the food category sponsor, Food Centre Wales. Jake, Tilly and Alona put a tremendous amount of work into their submission and commented: “Our concept is a cafe called “Small World” that would specialise in Bubble tea, a popular Malaysian tea drink that incorporates Tapioca pearls that pop in your mouth to incorporate a ‘fun factor’ to a tea drink. Different flavours can be incorporated through the Tapioca pearls. Our cafe concept would incorporate flavours from around the world with light bites to accompany them.”

Enterprise co-ordinator at the College, David Gleed, supported the learners and added: “This has been an inspiring competition that gathered momentum as the word spread. Congratulations to all who made it through to the finals, in particular, Jake, Tilly and Alona.”

The organisers would like to pass on their sincere thanks to the five sponsors, one for each of the five business areas.