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Young entrepreneurs to takeover Swansea’s Castle Square Gardens this week

Castle Square Gardens

Young entrepreneurs from 44 primary schools will be launching a takeover of Castle Square Gardens on Thursday when they set up shop in the city centre

Between 9.30am and 2.30pm the children will be selling all manner of goods from home grown vegetables and homemade lemonade to upcycled items and craft products.

The record-breaking number of schools have joined the Swansea Primary School Enterprise Challenge 2022 which is launching the takeover bid in Castle Square for the first time since the pandemic.

The special market is part of an ongoing drive to inspire pupils to think imaginatively and ambitiously as part of the new schools curriculum for Wales.

The event is being opened by Swansea’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Mike Day, who is a long-standing supporter of the initiative.

He said: “I’m a really big fan of the challenge. It is a lot of fun, but it also supports schools in delivering the new curriculum. It also offers children hands-on opportunities to learn essential skills like budget management and how to turn creative ideas into solid business plans.

“They also get a buzz from seeing their efforts put into action, with products people want to buy. I hope the children will be encouraged when they see people turn up in Castle Square!”

Swansea Council leader Cllr Rob Stewart said: “It’s brilliant that the Swansea Primary School Enterprise Challenge is back after two years away because of the pandemic.

“I’ve visited the event before and the enthusiasm, innovation and sheer excitement generated by the children demonstrates that entrepreneurship starts young in Swansea.”

One of the schools involved is Craigfelen Primary and head teacher Alison Williams MBE has been heavily involved in organising the market.

Mrs Williams said the school has been developing entrepreneurial skills in its pupils for a number of years now as staff feel passionately that education should be motivating, fun and prepare pupils for the world they will grow up in.”

Mrs Williams added: “The event keeps getting bigger and better each year and pupils from all the schools have come up with some wonderful and creative ideas so I would invite anyone in the city centre on Thursday to pop along, browse the stalls and pick up a bargain or two.”

She added: Teachers have received professional development workshops with Professor Andy Penaluna who has developed their understanding of skills essential to the four purposes of the new curriculum for Wales.

“Under their guidance, their pupils have set up their own businesses and received mentoring from role models from local businesses, arranged by Sue Poole and Kathryn David from Young Dragons.”

There will also be a Grand Final, hosted by Kevin Johns in the Brangwyn Hall on July 14 where every pupil who has been involved will get recognition for their achievements.

Robert Smith, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education said the Castle Square event is the culmination of months of effort and collaboration across school communities in Swansea.

He said: “Schools and our education services have a proud tradition of working with business, universities and the wider community and this event demonstrates the strength of those ongoing links. Together we recognise that truly successful children’s education is a joint effort featuring so many different individuals and organisations.”

Sue Poole from Young Dragons said: “The Swansea Enterprise Challenge is a way for children to make all their learning real. Seeing the children proudly displaying and selling their goods after months of hard work is so heart-warming.

The skills they have learnt from this challenge will enable them to develop into enterprising creative young adults.  We want to thank the many local businesses who’ve taken the time and effort out of their busy days to support the children by attending the schools.

“They’ve given children an opportunity to talk about the skills they have developed with such passion and explaining what they have enjoyed about their enterprise journey.”

Colleague Kathryn David added: “As well as developing skills they can apply to all sorts of situations, our experience is that the enterprise challenge is inspirational for children who develop hands-on knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that business life offers.

“Seeing these young people having fun, enjoying themselves and learning at the same time makes it all the hard work in organising the challenge worthwhile.”