NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid and West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging budding entrepreneurs in Carmarthenshire, to enter a competition to help them develop a business.

He is calling on further and higher education students, who study, live in the county, or aim to set up their business in Carmarthenshire, to enter this year’s Beacon Bursary competition.

The annual competition, delivered through Carmarthenshire County Council in conjunction with Coleg Sir Gâr and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, forms part of the council’s commitment to developing entrepreneurship within the county.

Neil Hamilton said: “This is a wonderful chance for someone to win a business start-up opportunity and I urge students in Carmarthenshire, who have a business idea, to enter this competition.

“Apart from being offered free office space within the Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, the winner will also win a cash prize of £5,000 and receive mentoring support so they can grow their business.

“This will be a huge help to anyone with an idea they want to develop. All too often, fledgling businesses fail because of simple mistakes, so this mentoring could be crucial.

“I was also delighted to hear that two runners up will each receive a cash prize of £2,000, or £1,000 plus free office space for six months.

“Well done to Carmarthenshire County Council for encouraging young entrepreneurs in this way.”

Last year’s winner was Lian Cara Poulson from Llandovery, whose winning proposal was to establish her own fashion label. She impressed the judges with her blend of creative talent, commercial vision and professional business plan and presentation.

Carmarthenshire Council leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said the aim of the competition was to nurture the county’s entrepreneurs and to offer them, not only a chance to have a base to grow their business, but also to provide support from a team of business mentors from the private and public sector.

He said: “Previous winners have told us how invaluable winning this competition has been and I look forward to discovering all the new entrepreneurs we will meet through this competition this year.”

Coleg Sir Gâr Principal Barry Liles said: “Last year we were thrilled to present our fashion degree student Lian, with the award, who has since continued her business which was recently recognised and published by Vogue magazine.”

The closing date for expressions of interest is March 29, 2018 and for more detail contact LJEdwards@carmarthenshire.gov.uk.

For more information regarding the competition go to www.beacon-enterprise.co.uk/centre-for-enterprise/beacon-bursary/.

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