Regional Business Challenge

Record number of students take up regional business challenge

Young Business Dragons Launch

A record number of students from across the region will battle it out against each other when the Swansea Bay Young Business Dragons competition returns for its 2nd year.

40 schools from across Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and Carmarthenshire have signed up to take part, an increase of 29% on last year’s pilot event. 

The competition, organised by Swansea Bay Partnership and sponsored by Wales & West Utilities, will see students embarking on a 6 month programme that aims to inspire them to become future entrepreneurs.

Last year’s winning team, teachers, sponsors, mentors and supporters gathered at the Grape & Olive Swansea last Friday where Siany from 96.4FM the Wave helped to officially launch the 2012 competition.

The event is challenging teams of 14-15 year olds to create and develop a business idea around the theme of UK Festivals. 

School teams will compete in an inter-school round, area semi-finals and a regional final.  Over 50 local businesses have volunteered their time to mentor and share their experiences with students.

Caroline Rees of Rees Marketing, commented at the launch: “It was an easy decision for me to take up the offer of mentoring a school.  It is such a worth while event and I am thrilled to be able to play an active role in young people’s professional and personal development.  I am really looking forward to working with the students.  I hope I can inspire them during the challenge to maybe one day running their own business.”

The competition will conclude during Enterprise Week in November with a Dragons Den-style final when 6 short-listed teams will pitch their business ideas to a judging panel of local business experts.

The winning school team will scoop £1,000 and the title of Swansea Bay Business Dragons 2012. 

Graham Edwards, Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive, said: “Supporting young people and recognising their tremendous potential is part of our ethos as a company.   We are proud to be once again involved in this event, and to be supporting so many students from across the region.  The competition represents an exciting opportunity for students to develop an understanding of business and entrepreneurship.  On behalf of Wales & West Utilities I would like to wish everyone the best of luck.”

Other business sponsors include Carillion and Derwen with regional station 96.4FM The Wave supporting the event once again as Media Partners.

The competition is being organised by the Swansea Bay Partnership in association with Careers Wales.   For further information on the event visit www.swanseabaypartnership.com or contact Sarah Toomey, Swansea Bay Partnership Event Coordinator on 01792 545066.