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Young Trader of the Year competitions to be held in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill in July

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Entrepreneurs from across the district are being invited by West Suffolk Council to compete in the regional heats of the Young Trader of the Year competition.

The competition is run by the National Market Traders’ Federation.

It seeks to recognise the contributions made by the youngest traders to the world of UK business.

Sophie Clarke, from Mildenhall, was among the winning traders from last year's competition.
Sophie Clarke, from Mildenhall, was among the winning traders from last year's competition.

Entrants must be between the ages of 16 and 30.

The competition kicks off in Bury St Edmunds on July 13, with a Haverhill competition scheduled for July 16.

A panel of judges will assess traders on a number of criteria, including the quality of their products, professionalism and customer service skills.

Last year’s edition of the event saw eight traders from across Eastern England compete for the winning title.

Winners of the town heats for 2022 will go on to a regional competition in Bury on July 27.

There will then be a national final in Stratford-upon-Avon on August 27.

Sophie Clarke, a trader from Mildenhall stocking homemade interior products and wares, was among 2021's winners.

She netted the 'Best Arts and Crafts' title.

Ms Clarke said: "Since taking part in the competition and winning the national award, I've continued to grow my business both online and at events such as the makers markets in Bury St Edmunds, a pop-up shop at John Lewis and I'm also trading at the Royal Norfolk Show next week.

"It's been fantastic, it's grown my confidence and my business and my message to anyone thinking about whether to enter or not, is go for it, you have nothing to lose."

Councillor Susan Glossop, the cabinet member for growth at West Suffolk Council, said: “The young trader competition is an excellent opportunity for anyone aged 16 to 30 who is considering starting their own businesses or who wants to turn their creative passion into a livelihood.

“It’s the chance for them to bring their ideas to the marketplace, test their products out to see what sells, build their confidence, develop their customer skills, and gain helpful and constructive feedback from our judges.

“I’m looking forward to the young traders competition and hope people will come along and support our young traders.”

Those looking to enter should email economic.development@westsuffolk.gov.uk