THE COUNTRY’S best young market traders went stall to stall in Stratford.
Waterside hosted the final of the Young Traders Market initiative with around 70 entrepreneurs competed for the title and £500 top prize.
And the first place went to Frankie Farrar, a 22-year-old from Sheffield whose business Stirring Silver saw huge queues for the silver rings she makes from old spoons and lights from musical instruments and old sewing machines.
Her award was presented to her live on BBC One’s The One Show by presenter Matt Baker.
She said: “It means so much to me. My feet haven’t touched the ground since I won, but I guess this is just the beginning.”
The Young Traders Market was devised by the NMTF, the only national UK organisation representing market and street traders, events retailers and mobile caterers. The final in Stratford followed six regional heats in which around 120 16 to 30-year-olds took part.
NMTF’s CEO Joe Harrison said: “The aim of the initiative is simple. We have a great retail markets industry in the UK, but to make sure they thrive in the years to come we have to bring new blood, young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas on to our markets.
“We know this project works because we tried it on a much smaller scale last year at youth markets, with regional finals in Leeds and Manchester before the national event in Stratford.
“This year we invited as many young people as possible to get involved, whether they are would-be traders who want to dip their toe in the water, others who have been trading for some time, perhaps on a part-time basis, or those who have traded exclusively online but think a market pitch could be their shop window.”
Stratford District Council operations spokesman Ian Shenton said the town was proud to host the final again following last year’s successful event.
He said: “It is pleasing and exciting to see so many young people showing amazing entrepreneurial spirit and wanting to develop their own businesses.
“The NMTF should be congratulated for creating the competition, as these young entrepreneurs bring their own dynamic approach to markets and will ensure that they thrive and grow in the future.”