Young entrepreneurs from across Yorkshire are setting out their stalls at Kirkgate Market in Leeds on Wednesday, 1 August, as part of a competition to find the county’s best young stallholder.
The Yorkshire Youth Market gathers together 40 traders aged between 16 and 30 who are running businesses trading on markets, festivals, and fairs across the region.
The event is run by the NMTF, the only national trade association for market and street traders in the UK, and hosted by Leeds City Council, which operates Kirkgate Market.
In May and June, the NMTF supported local authorities across Yorkshire to run a series of youth markets, providing opportunities to young people to gain experience in trading.
The best traders on these local youth markets have been nominated to represent their local areas at the Yorkshire Youth Market, battling it out for a series of industry accolades.
Ben Newton, 19, from Sheffield, runs Retro Football 99, a business selling vintage football shirts Commenting on why he trades on markets, Ben said:
“I find that markets are the best way to get my products out there. It’s great to interact with people and find out what works and what doesn’t – there’s nothing like getting face to face with customers.”
There will be representatives from Barnsley, Bradford, Doncaster, Kirklees, Leeds, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wakefield, and York – as well as a few wild cards thrown into the mix.
Live music from local performers will be played throughout the day and there will be plenty of family-friendly activities, such as free arts and crafts and trails around the market.
To celebrate God’s Own County, between 12 noon and 1 pm there will be a World Record Attempt for the most flat-caps in one place. This attempt is sponsored by Chip & PIN Solutions Ltd.
At the end of the event, one young trader will be crowned Yorkshire’s Young Trader of the Year and three Highly Commended trophies will be awarded. Judging will be by markets industry experts.
At least one trader from every area will be offered a pitch on the National Youth Market in Stratford-upon-Avon on 31 August and 1 September. A £500 prize is up for grabs.
Joe Harrison, chief executive of the NMTF said:
“The event is a real demonstration of the potential of the region’s markets to support young entrepreneurs to test, grow, and launch a lean business.
“Yorkshire is leading the way in the UK – this event is the first of its kind in the country. Market operators have come together to support young traders with enthusiasm and professionalism.”
Councillor Khan, a deputy executive member with responsibility for markets at Leeds City Council said:
“Leeds is proud to host the inaugural Yorkshire Youth Market in our award-winning Kirkgate Market.
“As we celebrate our region on Yorkshire Day, I encourage as many people as possible to visit the market and get behind our finest young entrepreneurs – don’t forget your flat cap!”