Young entrepreneurs from West Suffolk are being invited to follow in the footsteps of national winners and trade off in the heats of a market competition next month.
The National Market Traders Federation Young Trader of the Year competition returns to West Suffolk in July.
It held its first ever regional competition last year, and the event in Bury St Edmunds saw eight East of England winners compete in the national finals held over two days in Stratford Upon Avon.
Among those emerging victorious was Sophie Clarke, from Sophie Clarke Designs, in Mildenhall, who won Best Arts and Crafts with her hand-woven interior products and homeware.
“It’s been a brilliant year for me,” said Sophie. “Since taking part in the competition and winning the national award, I’ve continued to grow my business both online and at events such as the makers markets in Bury St Edmunds, a pop-up shop at John Lewis and I’m also trading at the Royal Norfolk Show next week. It’s been fantastic, it’s grown my confidence and my business and my message to anyone thinking about whether to enter or not, is go for it, you have nothing to lose.”
For others, although they may not have won the national awards, the feedback and experience has seen them go onto become market regulars, running their own business and being their own boss.
This year, the National Market Traders Federation Young Trader of the Year competition begins in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday, July 13, and Haverhill Market, on Saturday, July 16.
Those looking to try their hand at trading will be scored by a team of local judges on their products, customer service skills, professionalism and how they interact with the other market traders.
The winners from these heats will then go through to a regional heat of the competition which takes place in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday, July 27, before progressing to a national final, taking place on August 26 and 27 at Stratford Upon Avon.