Next Generation of Entrepreneurs Celebrate Success at Big Market 19

Students from across Northern Ireland once again had the enviable opportunity to launch, promote and sell their own innovative products at this year’s Young Enterprise ‘Big Market’ initiative.

St George’s Market was taken over by in excess of 800 students from across the north who are taking part in this year’s Young Enterprise Company, Team and Quick start and Start Up Programmes.

The charity’s leading entrepreneurial programmes allows students to create a unique business then produce, promote and sell their products or services for the first time.

The event, which was open to the general public, was attended by business leaders from across Northern Ireland, some of whom were there to mentor the students and others who had the hard job of judging the best student companies.

More than 70 businesses consisting of young people between the ages of 14 and 25 were selling everything from story books for children about hidden disabilities to sustainable lunch boxes, coffee mugs and seasonal decorations amongst other things.

Young Enterprise chief executive Carol Fitzsimons MBE said: “Our Company Programmes are vital for young people to develop skills for future success.

“The recent CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Annual Report highlights that, alongside qualifications, businesses highly value work readiness and broader skills.

“In fact, 60 per cent of the businesses surveyed by the CBI are clear that key drivers of success for young people in their working lives are attitudes and attributes like resilience, communication and problem-solving. Businesses rated these skills as among their top priorities when recruiting.

“As the leading entrepreneurship and enterprise education charity, Young Enterprise is committed to giving all young people in Northern Ireland the chance to develop and practice these skills – skills that they will need to succeed in the world of work.

“Embedding entrepreneurial education into school programmes is one of the most important ways to prepare our children for life beyond the classroom. Today students need much more than a good academic grounding to excel, and learning linked to real-life situations is always more meaningful.

“Throughout the day we watched our young entrepreneurs execute all their learning from the programmes to connect with not just their customers but also their competitors and team-mates on the day.”

Ms Fitzsimons added: “A massive thank you goes out to all the schools who support their students in taking part, our mentors, and judges, without whom the Big Market simply couldn’t be the success it is.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Education, and our Company programme Patrons, Ulster University, Allstate, PwC, Translink, Irish News and Business Eye. Thanks too to Belfast City Council for the use of St Georges Market.”


• Quick start winner – Omagh High School
• Business beginnings winner – Alexander Dickson Primary School
• Team programme winner – St Patrick’s College Banbridge
• Start-up winner – Ulster University Belfast Campus
• Company programme winner – Belfast High