Students win European/Middle-East and Africa regional enterprise award for their “Farmily” business idea

23/06/2014

A team of seven enterprising 16 and 17-year-old students have proved you are never too young to go into business after they were named regional winners of the Global Enterprise Challenge for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The team from The College Merthyr Tydfil had already beaten off 6,000 other students from throughout Wales to win the GEC Wales finals earlier this year that took them to Mainz in Germany last week for the global finals.

After a gruelling 12-hour challenge to develop a business idea without any prior information, the seven students were rewarded with the regional accolade.

“It’s been amazing,” said Christine Bissex, Head of Enterprise and Employability at the college. “The team were up against some very tough competition from 43 other teams from 15 different countries. However, they took the challenge head on and have demonstrated their entrepreneurial prowess.”

The team had to develop a business to design an exhibit for promoting family farming to communities, governments and the media. They had to come up with a business plan, cash flow projections, a presentation and three-minute video.

In 12 hours they came up with the brand – Farmily - and a website before submitting their ideas on-line to the team of international judges, including eminent professors, doctors, academics and successful business people.

Congratulating the students, Economy Minister, Edwina Hart said:  “The team from The College Merthyr Tydfil had already demonstrated their entrepreneurial talent after winning the GEC Wales finals earlier this year, competing against 17 other teams. “To go on and become the regional winners in Europe, Middle East and Africa, competing against some very tough competition, is a great achievement and recognition of their hard work.

“I pay tribute to their hard work and determination and congratulate them on their achievement.”

Mrs Hart added that the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge, which is part of the Big Ideas Wales campaign, is an important way for young people in Wales to learn and understand how entrepreneurship is an option as a career.

The GEC finals follow the GEC Wales finals, an annual competition to give young people practical experiences of generating ideas for business as part of the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy (YES).

The Wales competition is delivered under the Big Ideas Wales Campaign and is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

 

“This is the first year that students from the college or Wales have successfully won a European regional competition of this genre and their success represents a fantastic achievement for the students, the college, the town of Merthyr Tydfil and the whole of Wales,” added Christine.

“The team of students – Giorgio Baglioni, Joe Williams, Jordan Coates, Ethan Evans, Teri White, Georgia Blakemore and Carys Davies all had the most amazing experience and have already decided it was the best week of their lives.”

“They worked so hard and were an absolute credit to the college.  We are so proud of their achievements and we have had many accolades from people from all walks of life.”

Congratulating the students, Economy Minister, Edwina Hart AM, said:  “The team from The College Merthyr Tydfil had already demonstrated their entrepreneurial talent after winning the GEC Wales finals earlier this year, competing against 17 other teams.

“To go on and become the regional winners in Europe, Middle East and Africa, competing against some very tough competition, is a great achievement and recognition of their hard work.

“On behalf of the Welsh Government I pay tribute to their hard work and determination and congratulate them on their achievement.”

Mrs Hart added: “The Global Entrepreneurship Challenge, which is part of our Big Ideas Wales campaign, is an important way for young people in Wales to learn and understand how entrepreneurship is an option as a career.

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