Bridgend entrepreneurs go through to Test Town national final

11/12/2015

Two fledgling companies from Bridgend County Borough have made it through to the final of a national enterprise competition where they will compete for the chance to win £10,000 to develop their business ideas.

More than 30 enthusiastic young entrepreneurs aged 16-30 from across South Wales recently took part in the Welsh heat of Carnegie UK Trust’s ‘Test Town 2015’ contest, where a pop-up enterprise market was set up in Bridgend town centre.

There were two joint winners of the Bridgend heat - Simon Allen, for his work towards setting up Fy Siop Fferm as an enterprise offering local farm products, and Geraint Robson and Caitllyn Corless, who are developing Ddraig Valley Park Farm as an educational visitor centre with animals.

The runner-up was Rhys Young with Korefitt, a Bridgend-based business offering a range of fitness and nutrition products.

Following a successful bid by Bridgend College and Bridgend County Borough Council, Bridgend town centre was selected as only one of ten locations in the UK and the only one in Wales to host the regional heats of Test Town 2015.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Councillor Charles Smith, said: “Test Town has become one of the UK’s largest entrepreneurial competitions, giving budding young entrepreneurs a valuable insight into running their own business and we were thrilled to have been the only town in Wales to be selected to host this round of the competition.

“It was great to see young entrepreneurs from Bridgend County displaying their ideas in Bridgend town centre, and we are over the moon to have local contestants going through to this year’s final, which will be held in Scotland in February.”

Since winning the Bridgend round, the joint winners, Ddraig Valley and Fy Siop Fferm, are exploring the idea of teaming up to strengthen their business model.

Speaking about the competition, Simon Allen of Fy Siop Fferm, said: “I feel that Test Town was a massive benefit for myself and Fy Siop Fferm as even from the Bridgend town centre event I found its opened lots of doors. For example, all the links and amazing entrepreneurs I met at the market and teaming up with Ddraig Valley. 

“I think the best part of the event so far was interacting with the public and getting their opinions. I think the plan is to have a sit down with Ddraig Valley and the team to work out the best way forward and how to hit Scotland bigger and better for the final.”

Geraint Robson of Ddraig Valley added: “At first we were hesitant about entering Test Town as we weren't sure how we would be able to present the Ddraig Valley brand, but after coming up with a couple of ideas we got excited for the competition and for people to see a few of the animals that would be at the farm park. 

“The best part of Test Town was the public's reactions. Some were petrified of snakes while others were inquisitive of the snails - it was brilliant to see people react so openly. 

“When we won, we were in utter shock. We were not expecting to win at all and to win in conjunction with someone we consider a friend and someone who we can both benefit from partnering up with was an absolutely fantastic feeling!”

For more information and news about this year’s Test Town competition, visit www.testtown.org.uk