A brand-new monthly market has launched in a bid to develop and support young entrepreneurs.
Marks & Spencer and Dunelm are hugely successful businesses that began their journey selling goods on a market stall.
Fuelled by a passion to inspire young people and show them just how rewarding a market stall business can be, the Young Traders Market is, organised by St Albans Charter Market business owner Sonya Jefferson of Jefferson Crafts, together with the St Albans Business Improvement District (BID) and supported by St Albans District Council (SADC) as part of their partnership work with the BID.
From bakers to jewellery, cocktails, and 3D printing – an array of aspiring young entrepreneurs set up stall at the new 6-8pm, monthly event in Market Place, St Albans last week with the youngest trader, Bertie, aged 13.
It’s an excellent way to nurture young talent, says young market business owner Danni Jefferson. Having won Young Trader of the Year for London and South-East in the 2020 National Market Traders Federation awards, Danni – founder of eco business Jefferson Crafts – is supporting the drive to engage young people with the pioneering new market. She is keen to see more young people join the legendary twice-weekly Charter Market which she says has boosted her confidence and driven the success of her business.
“Young people need to be encouraged and given the opportunity to do something positive and follow their passion. I want people to see how easy and rewarding it is to set up and run a market business. You quickly learn new skills and become a part of the thriving business community here in St Albans. I’d urge anyone with an idea to take a stall, test and refine their trade and kickstart their own business journey.”
Danni is one of the few under 30-year-olds trading on St Albans Charter Market, and the St Albans BID wants to help facilitate more young traders and young retailers and bring more footfall to the city centre. Manager, Denise Parsons said;
“St Albans BID is exploring different ways to bring footfall during the traditionally quiet transition period between our daytime retail shopping offering and the evening hospitality offering. Markets are at the heart of St Albans story, add vibrancy to our city and help attract day trippers and staycationers from competing towns and city centres. A Young Trader market offering is something new and different, and has the added bonus of being a platform to develop future Charter Market traders and city centre retailers!”
Councillor Mandy McNeil, Vice Chair of the Regeneration and Business Committee says it is all about building confidence:
“It is important to mentor, develop and incubate young entrepreneurs because they have a role to play in the successful future of St Albans economy. They are the next generation of Charter Market traders, business owners and employers. The first market was a great success and I look forward to working with the BID, the Chamber of Commerce, City of Expertise, Stanta, and other Council business and community partners on more initiatives to support St Albans entrepreneurs and our local economy.”