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August 2020

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Published on 17 August 2020

All winners, no losers in Newton’s Apprentice-style challenge.

A gritty group of budding entrepreneurs completed their “Apprentice” style challenge in Newton Abbot market earlier this month (8 August). Each one of them was an undoubted winner, after they participated in a transformational three month “Talk Action” business-skills programme. A project that has ploughed ahead despite lockdown, the pandemic, technical challenges and economic uncertainty.

In teams of 1, 2 and 3’s the groups have taken their business start-up skills from zero to hero, learning skills such as branding, marketing, sales, planning and finance. And they finished their market stall challenge on Saturday 8th August, raising funds to be split across their chosen charities, Parkinson's UK, Mind Devon, and Animals In Distress. The team finished their challenge with a Covid-appropriate ceremony, and a certificate presentation by the Mayor and Mayoress of Newton Abbot.

All the delegates said they felt they have benefited from the course, and gave feedback including:

“Couldn't be more pleased with the stall, valuable experience and definitely a learning curve in underestimating the weather, it was more hold on to your gazebo than hats! All round it was a brilliant 11 weeks of learning.”

“The course has really developed my business confidence and I have met some great people.”

“I felt my confidence really increase through this course”

“I’ve received fabulous help and focused support and also the great opportunity to run the one-off market stall. I’ve never done anything like it before - it was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time! But worth all the effort”

Following their market stall challenge, the entrepreneurs, will have options for further coaching and support, and some are even talking about continuing with the market stall concept in Newton Abbot.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Newton Abbot, Councillor Richard Jenks and Mrs Karen Jenks, who awarded the certificates said: “we were both very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of the candidates, it was evident a lot of hard work had gone into their project, Jonathan and Sue the programme facilitators had built a good relationship with the candidates and provided the stepping stone to a great future. “

Teignbridge Markets Manager Mike Walsh said: “We were pleased to be able to host this challenge at Newton Abbot Markets and see at first hand the enthusiasm and talent of these budding entrepreneurs. We hope that Saturday’s event highlights the low cost, flexible opportunities the Market offers people looking to set up their own business.”

Project leader, Jonathan Elliot, MD of Talk Action said: “It can take nerves of steel to start up your own business from scratch on a normal day. But when that new business launch is set against the backdrop of a pandemic, uncertainty, and economic downturn– that takes great courage and a highly optimistic outlook!”

“We are extremely grateful to Teignbridge for their fantastic support, the warmth and friendliness of the other market stall holders, and the enthusiasm and flexibility of the Mayor and Mayoress whose presence at the award ceremony was the icing on the cake”

Anyone interested in starting up in business and would like to join the waiting list for the next business-start-up programme, please contact Jonathan Elliott on