NMTF launches £2,000 competition for budding market traders

Expert judges to oversee entrepreneurs' stall skills

Britain’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs have been given the chance to win £2,000 – by taking their skills to market.

The National Market Traders’ Federation’s (NMTF’s) new competition, First Pitch, is designed to help budding businesspeople create their own market stall, under the guidance of a team of experienced market traders.

All applicants who are accepted into the first stage of the competition will be invited to host their own stall, on a local market, for five days; once the NMTF’s judges have been round all the applicants’ stalls, they will draw up a shortlist of up to 50 traders.

The shortlisted entrants will then be invited to trade on a market stall for a further 12 months, with rent reductions and on-site mentoring. Once the year is up, a winner will be chosen and the cash prize will be handed over.

Business minister Mark Prisk has voiced his support for the initiative, saying that “market traders are a great example of people striking out on their own and the ‘First Pitch’ competition will encourage more aspiring entrepreneurs to set up in business.”

Meanwhile Joe Harrison, chief executive of the NMTF, said: “We hope to encourage Britain’s entrepreneurs to look at market trading as a business that has no limits.

“Proof of this is in the long list of well known brands, as well as some of the biggest retail names on the high street, who started out on market stalls including Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Matalan, Bonmarche, Dunelm and Morrisons.”  

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