An event that celebrates entrepreneurs who have launched a business on one of the nation’s 1,400 markets is taking place in York on Monday, June 9 at The Royal York Hotel.
Run by the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF), the event will attract market traders from all over the UK for a day of inspirational speeches and training workshops with one trader being awarded £2,000.
Dubbed a “Markets Master Class,” the event is part of the NMTF’s market trader start-up scheme, First Pitch, which for 2013/14 has been part-funded by the RBS’s Inspiring Enterprise programme.
The scheme has supported 100 entrepreneurs since June 2013 to start-up and run a markets-based business, offering discounted pitch fees, mentoring from a retail expert and free membership of the NMTF.
Streetzine is pleased to hear that out of the lucky finalists, there are a good number of street food traders possibly earmarked for an award, showing that local markets, coupled with NMTF support, are key to establishing any street food business. We wish all the traders nominated every success.
Shelley Dixon, 22, of Daisy Daze, trades on Fleetwood Market, Lancashire, run by Wyre Council, and is one the traders supported by First Pitch. Commenting on the scheme, she said:
“First Pitch has helped my business go from strength to strength. The advice from my mentor has been extremely valuable and the market manager has also supported me with reduced rent.
“My membership of the NMTF has made me feel secure in my new business and I have no need to worry about liability insurance. Whenever I have a query the NMTF is always there to help.
“Trading makes you learn something new every day. I plan to stay at Fleetwood for the near future as it is a market I feel can grow and change with modern demands of the shoppers here.”
Shelley is one of 35 traders who have made it through their first year on the markets, a success rate for the scheme that has doubled due to the support of the RBS, which awarded £50,000 to the NMTF.
Joe Harrison, chief executive of the NMTF, said: “We received an outstanding 350 applications for First Pitch. With low start-up costs, short-term lets and locations in the heart of our country’s towns and cities, this scheme demonstrates that markets are ideal platforms to launch a lean retail business.
“The investment into the scheme from the RBS has proven that with the right network and package of support in place, entrepreneurs have an increased chance of making it through their first year of trading. The NMTF is thankful to the RBS for their trust and faith in the NMTF to be able to deliver the scheme.”
The 35 traders will be joined by markets officials and their mentors. Delegates will be coming to York from all over the country, including traders from markets in London, Birmingham and Newcastle. Support through the scheme was focused on young people aged 18 to 30 and women over 31.
NatWest Enterprise Manager, Heather Waters, will be attending the Markets Master Class to represent the RBS. Funding from Inspiring Enterprise has enabled the NMTF to support 200 entrepreneurs all over the UK to trial their business idea on their local market in June 2013.
Heather said: “RBS and its sister bank NatWest are encouraging a more entrepreneurial culture. We understand that people need the right combination of support, advice and funding to get started. I look forward to meeting with the traders and assisting them with the next stage of their journey.”
There will be workshops for traders to refresh skills in customer service, marketing and social media. Inspirational speeches and presentations from industry leaders and retail professionals will also be made.
Following a rigorous process of assessment by market trading experts, one entrepreneur will be awarded £2,000 for outstanding achievement over the past 12 months – a much needed boost to their business!
The First Pitch Markets Master Class and Awards Ceremony, run by the National Market Traders Federation, takes place at The Royal York Hotel, York, on Monday, June 9 from 11am to 4pm.