Following an open recruitment process, 21 enterprising individuals were selected to be part of the first two cohorts of the ‘Mentro’ initiative of the Llwyddo’n Lleol project. Through the project the individuals received the opportunity to be part of a business training programme which offers specialist and financial support for young people to drive their business ideas forward as well as creating a network of innovative entrepreneurs in the rural areas of Wales.
After 10 weeks of listening, discussing and learning, it was the turn of the 21 enterprising individuals to present their innovative business ideas to a panel of judges. The prize? A chance to win an extra £1,000 to spend on developing their business further in 2024.
The evenings were held at the end of December with individuals from Gwynedd and Anglesey presenting at Llangefni Town Hall and the Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion crew gathering at the Creuddyn Centre, Lampeter. With a wide variety of individuals ranging from DJs, artists, craftworkers and builders to individuals who specialise in services for children or communications and public affairs, the range of presentations were dynamic and entertaining.
After much deliberation, the panel of judges decided that Daniel Grant from Felinheli came out on top in the North West with his new business, Pen Wiwar. A company that will create sustainable clothing inspired by nature and the outdoors in North Wales.
On receiving the award, Daniel said, “I’ve been lucky enough to win today after being on the programme, we’ve had an amazing time and learnt something different every week. This award means a lot to me, and means that I can go ahead and start the business very soon after Christmas and work with local artists to create cool and unique clothes!”
Taking the financial prize in the South West was Elen Bowen, from Capel Iwan with her Welsh jewellery company which hopes to develop by running workshops in the Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion area.
In her interview after winning on the night, Elen said, “The last ten weeks have been an incredible ten weeks. I’ve learnt so much, and met, I think, friends for life. We are not alone when we start or try to run a business, there are plenty of experienced people out there to help us or collaborate with us.
“Thank you Llwyddo’n Lleol. It has been an inspiring experience, and I will treasure these weeks forever!”
Congratulations to both of them, and good luck to the rest of the individuals and their businesses that are thriving across ARFOR communities.
Aled Pritchard, Llwyddo’n Lleol Project Officer, said: “The period has flown by, but I’m proud to say there are unique, exciting and fresh ideas that have come out of the first two cohorts under the ‘Mentro’ initiative of the Llwyddo’n Lleol project. I can’t praise everyone enough who has been part of this training for their enthusiasm and dedication, and I’m extremely excited to see their ideas develop over the next year and years!”
The application window for the next cohort of the ‘Mentro’ initiative is now open with the closing date approaching on 21 January, 2024. It is a special opportunity for 12 individuals between 18-35 from the ARFOR area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Anglesey) to develop their business and be supported every step of the way.
Before completing the application form applicants are urged to learn more about the opportunity and the requirements by reading the guidelines.
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