Hundreds of teenage traders set to take over Milton Keynes shopping centre

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Teenage entrepreneurs will take over Middleton Hall at thecentre:mk on Sunday, January 26 to put their skills on show.

The teenagers are running their own Young Enterprise companies in the 2014 competition for school teams and will be putting their talents to the test in front of real potential customers at the shopping centre’s prime display space.

Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Brian White, and the city’s two MPs, Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster, will be visiting in the afternoon.

Eric Collins, chairman of Milton Keynes Young Enterprise and managing director of Newport Pagnell-based Nampak Plastics, said: “The annual Milton Keynes trade fair gives competing teams from Young Enterprise a fantastic opportunity to market their products with a large footfall of potential customers at close hand.

“The young adults competing in Young Enterprise are learning key skills of teamwork, leadership. organisation and communication.

“To be successful in selling to the public at an event like this will require them to use all these skills and if they are not so successful on the day, therm use the experience to learn the importance of developing these skills ready for entering their own working life.”

Students from across the region will be setting up their trade stalls from 9.30am to 11am, when the event will be officially opened. The trade stalls will be judged from 11am until 1pm. Prizes will be presented at 4.30pm and stalls will be taken down at 5pm, making it an intense day of real life trading for the young people.

Awards will be presented for Environmental Awareness, Best Customer Service, Best Product and Best Trade Stand. Other events are held throughout the year as Young Enterprise regions gear up to find local, regional and national winners.

Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading enterprise education charity, founded in 1963 to forge links between schools and local businesses. Its mission is to inspire and educate young people to understand and value the role of business through practical business projects that develop attitudes and skills for personal success, lifelong learning and employability.

School pupils are mentored by people from the business community, helping to open their eyes to the commercial world.

Previous ideas have included bags, Apps, Music CDs, personalized T-shirts, hand decorated glass and vases, toys, wooden items, cards, mugs, key rings, magnets, mirrors and juggling balls.

Pictured are students from last year’s event, by Alan Bullen of Lynx Networks in Milton Keynes.