Some of Trafford College’s most business savvy students demonstrated their entrepreneurial expertise and battled it out to be crowned champions at this year’s annual Altrincham Market Challenge, which took place on Sunday 14 May.
Students set up their stalls for the market’s busiest trading weekend which attracts hundreds of visitors every year in response to the ‘Love Your Local Market’ campaign.
Enthusiastic students from across the College were tasked with the challenge of creating an idea for a stall with a small budget, with which they had to buy their products or service, and market and design their stall. Some of the initiatives included a book stall, a potted plants stall, doggy fitness and treats, and a hair and beauty service.
A panel of judges including the College’s Principal, Lesley Davies OBE, Dr Jackie Campbell, who owns a local business, and Neil Clough, Series 9 finalist from the hit TV show, ‘The Apprentice’ had the difficult task of choosing winners in categories including most profitable team (overall winner), best planning and research, and best dressed stall promotion.
Scooping the trophy and overall first prize for profitability were a group of Foundation Learning students with their ‘Potting Shed’ initiative. Their colourful stall wowed the markets shoppers with its beautiful plants, bird feeders and gardening supplies. Judges were impressed by the stall both visually and as a concept, and the students were thrilled with the profit they made, with all proceeds being donated to Francis House.
One of the winning students, Eisaa Chowdhary, commented on the team’s award, “We are all overjoyed that we won against the competing stalls, and we have big plans for next year. With the support of our mentor, Michael Owen, in running the business, we have all improved our business skills for the future and we are really proud and happy that we sold most of our stock. We also hope the proceeds help the children at Francis House.”
The successful event marked the fifth anniversary of the Market Challenge, which forms part of the College’s initiative to help create a new wave of entrepreneurs who will help play a part in the rejuvenation of Altrincham Town Centre.
Joan Scott, Director of Learning, commented, “This year’s market stall concepts were phenomenal and the positive feedback we received from local shoppers in response to the student stalls was very well deserved. Our judges really struggled with choosing winners in all the categories because the standards this year were so very high. Students and staff love the chance to work in teams and they work very hard to merchandise and sell all their products, and ultimately win the trophy! Congratulations to this year’s overall winners and all our students on a wonderful event.”