Searching for Wales' next top young entrepreneurs

February 2015

Once again, Big Ideas Wales is running “The Challenge”, a competition for 16-24 year olds who have the talent, drive and commitment to put their business on the fast track to success.

The competition is aimed at those based in Wales, who have a viable business idea backed up with market research, who either began trading 2014 or are committed to starting in 2015, with a commitment to growing the business in the first 12 months by employing staff. But success here doesn’t come easily, with a number of rounds to get through before the entrepreneurs enjoy the benefits, as Bridgend College learners Geraint Robson and Caitlyn Corless are aware! 

Geraint and Caitlyn first pitched their business idea for an exotic farm park called Ddraig Valley  to Bridgend College Enterprise Officer Ruth Rowe back in October 2014, when Ruth then recommended that they enter the competition. 

Ruth commented; “Geraint and Caitlyn have worked tirelessly, successfully managing to juggle their HE studies on the Pencoed campus with researching the market and putting together a truly excellent business plan. Their enthusiasm for and commitment to what is sure to be a wonderful business  is inspirational.

Geraint and Caitlyn sent in their application, and received glowing remarks from the judges, who scored it highly across the board. The next step was an invitation to live “Auditions”, held at the Millennium Stadium on 15th December. At the Auditions, they were asked to deliver a 5-10 minute pitch providing more information on both their business idea and themselves. They were also then asked a series of questions from the panel, which they answered with flying colours. The entrepreneurs on the judging panel were very impressed with them and felt they had a “clear, well-structured business plan and great partnership”, and they have now been invited to proceed to the Bootcamp at Plas Glansevin from 30th January - 1st February.

The Bootcamp will give them access to workshops delivered by world-class entrepreneurs, business support offered through Business Wales and partner organisations, and networking opportunities with like-minded young entrepreneurs. Geraint andCaitlyn will also be invited to “boardroom” sessions during their first year in business, where they will have the chance to be coached and challenged by entrepreneurs. Big Ideas Wales will assist them in developing a tailored plan to get their business on the fast track to success, with PR and support to raise their profile along the way.

Previous Bridgend College winner, Edward Shorney, whose business GoRookie was successful in 2014, commented;“The Boardroom session have been invaluable as they have brought us together as a group to talk about our experiences and issues and to meet advisors and entrepreneurs who inspire and guide usas we progress through the Challenge.”
Congratulations to the pair, who have demonstrated huge commitment to this project, alongside their studies.

See more from last year’s Challengers on the Big Ideas Wales youtube video: