Young people got a taste of running their own business on Friday when they took part in a Young Enterprise Trade Fair.
Stalls of all kinds, selling everything from digital products to placemats, jewellery to pot plants, were set up on the lower floor of Foyleside Shopping Centre and proved a big draw to shoppers.
Members of Cathedral Youth Club enjoyed amazing success, with their coasters and place mats going down a treat with shoppers. Their jigsaws were also popular with some shoppers buying them to send overseas to relatives. Trading as members of Westbank Enterprises, the team were judged the winners of the Trade Fair and were presented with a certificate by Ulster Bank’s Natalie Haywood, Ulster Bank who presented them with their certificate.
Commending the young people for their ingenuity and dedication, club coordinator Jeanette Warke, said: “It took the young people about three months to plan and implement their business plan. They started the project working on photographs of the city and decided to transform the photographs onto placemats, jig-saws and coasters.”
“The Youth Club has a long association with the Young Enterprise initiative, we have worked with them for a long, time. Actually the young man that helped us this time in the manufacture of the coasters and the placemats, Gavin Bond, was a member of the Cathedral Youth Club and actually took part in the Young Enterprise Trade Fair, and he now runs his own business,” she said.
Manning the stand for Lisneal College, pupil Lisa McClintock, said: “We started our company, Poucheze, in September, and we are selling pouches in squares, rectangles and triangles. These triangular ones are made for children’s comforters, or dummies, and are made from a washable fabric. There are a range of different products that Poucheze sell and they all hold different small items, like lip balms, usb pens and earphones and they all have a key-ring attachment or clip so they can be attached to your zip or handbag, making they easy to find and they keep your small possessions in a secure place.”
Foyle MP Mark Durkan praised the initiative and drive of the young people saying: “This is a great opportunity to learn about enterprise and commerce. They get a real-life insight into the world and practice of business and clearly enjoy the experience. It is great to see the students inspired and equipped with new business skills that will enhance their self-confidence and instil important qualities like initiative and drive. The different companies and diversity of products are encouraging signs of innovation and collaboration.”