The winner of this year’s Beacon Bursary award is a passionate dog owner whose business proposal is to provide nutrient-rich dog treats.
Biscuit’s Barkery, set up by Amanda Thomas, will receive a cash prize of £5,000, free office space within the Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, and business mentoring support to help develop her business.
The Beacon Bursary is an annual competition run by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
The award provides new businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to access finance, office space and a wealth of advice and support which will provide the best opportunity for their new businesses to flourish.
Amanda, 32, from Carmarthen, is currently a student at Coleg Sir Gâr.
She is studying towards her Level 3 Beauty Therapy student at the Graig campus where she has also just completed the business module of Welsh Bacc qualification to provide her with the knowledge needed to develop ‘Biscuit Barkery’.
“I set up Biscuits Barkery after having my own French bulldog named Biscuit. My business is really led by my passion for dogs,” said Amanda, a qualified degree-level nutritionist.
“Winning this award means everything, especially having the support from business mentors as I have so many ideas but don’t know how to exercise them.
“The business is very much in its start-up phase so winning this award means I can get the business up and running and get my brand out there.”
Amanda was one of 10 new entrepreneurs to reach this year’s final and get the chance to pitch their proposals to a panel of judges including Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Emlyn Dole, last year’s Beacon Bursary winner Lian Poulson who has her own fashion label Lian Cara, and Chris Jenkins from Gerald Thomas Accountants.
Second place and receiving £2,000 and six months free office space at the Beacon, went to Sewing Circus, set up by Hanna Symis. Sewing Circus is a Unisex Childrenswear manufacturer and retailer, selling STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) influenced clothes online to challenge negative stereotypes in kids clothing. Hanna is a University of Wales Trinity Saint David student studying for her BA in Business Management.
Third place and receiving £1,000 and six months free office space at the Beacon, went to Adam, Eve and Green, by Elizabeth Diamond, Sue Diamond and Lisa Ariffin. Their aim is to be an environmentally friendly and eco-conscious gardening brand who will offset each order made with planting a native tree here in Wales to reduce Carbon footprint.
Mother Sue is a Coleg Sir Gâr student and is about to graduate with a BA in Fine Art Sculpture from the Jobs Well campus where Elizabeth also did her foundation course before going to Falmouth University, graduating in 2016.
Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole, who is responsible for Economic Development, said: “Once again this year we have seen some great ideas and all 10 candidates will be offered support by our business officers with their business ideas as we thought they all had potential. I would like to congratulate the three winners and wish them all the best with their future plans and I look forward to following their progress.”
Helen Evans, enterprise champion at Coleg Sir Gâr said: “We’re thrilled and proud that two of our students have been successful in the bursary competition. They, along with all 10 finalists, have worked hard at juggling their business plans and academic studies at the same and are worthy winners.
“They both have fantastic ideas which will be further supported by the enterprise department at Coleg Sir Gâr, as well as Carmarthenshire County Council who have provided the prize awards and will be supporting them with business expertise at the Beacon to develop and grow their companies.”
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