Major Bank Inspires Young Entrepreneurs

RBS Inspire Young Entrepreneurs

A pioneering national competition that launches the careers of young people into market trading has been awarded £50,000 from the RBS Group.

First Pitch is a market trader start-up scheme from the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF), a trade association representing 30,000 market traders in the UK.

The scheme aims to encourage young entrepreneurs to make their mark in the market and start a successful business on one of the UK’s 1,400 retail markets.

First run in 2011 with a limited budget, it was open to everyone in the UK and received 150 applicants. From these, 35 candidates successfully ‘test- traded,’ were given a mentor for one year and entered into a competition for £2,000.

The quality of the final 35 candidates was incredibly high and a third are still trading on markets today.

The NMTF has been awarded £50,000 from the RBS Group’s Inspiring Youth Enterprise programme to expand ‘First Pitch’ for 2013.

Commenting on the win, Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of the NMTF, said: “It’s great that RBS see the value of supporting First Pitch. RBS want to encourage young people to start up in business, NMTF want to get more young blood onto the nation’s markets – First Pitch has proven it can do this.

“The extra funds will pay for a marketing campaign to reach more young people aged 18 to 30 and strengthen the mentoring available to candidates. This will open up the competition to more budding young entrepreneurs who, with NMTF support, will be able to launch a business on the market.”

With this boost to the coffers by RBS, the NMTF aims to triple the amount of candidates enabled to trade for one year and reduce the drop-out rate of candidates from 66 per cent to 20per cent.

Explaining this, Joe added: “Last year, clearly we didn’t have the funding available to mentor candidates to an adequate standard. Next year, we’ll put more feet on the ground – mentors won’t be spread so thinly and they will be able to give the extra support that young people need to get their business up and running.”

NMTF aims to have First Pitch candidates ‘test trading’ during Love Your Local Market, a celebration of entrepreneurship on markets taking place all over the UK for two weeks from May 15, 2013.

If you are a budding entrepreneur with a great idea and would like to take part in First Pitch, please email julien.lewis@nmtf.co.uk, giving an outline of your plans, your circumstances, your location and where ideally you would like to trade.

We’ll be back to you with more detailed information as soon as possible.

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