This weekend we attend the Manchester Youth Market at King Street in Manchester. The youth market is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their products without having to pay large upfront costs for stalls and space to trade.
Established in 2016, the Manchester Youth Market was founded by entrepreneur and We Love Manchester charity trustee Chris Bird. Chris started his business ventures trading on Wythenshawe market at age 15 and wanted to give other young aspiring traders the opportunity to experience market trading for themselves.
Chris approach Howard Bernstein, the Chief Exec of Manchester Council with the idea for a youth market and together they created a programme to support young people. Howard took the idea forward and with the help of the council's Work & Skills Team, PeoplePlus, the We Love Manchester charity and the Business Growth Hub, the National Youth Market Traders Federation – a partnership was born. This meant that any Manchester resident aged 16-30 with a physical product could join the programme and receive free business support from PeoplePlus or the Business and Intellectual Property Centre at Manchester Library and start them out on the right foot. The programme also offers a £500 grant to support with start-up costs such as materials and stock, and test trading at events such as the Christmas Markets, Afflecks Palace, King Street and Hatch Manchester.
The Manchester Youth Market has grown every year and has worked with around 400 young people with a view to grow their stalls to department stores, after an initial incubation period.
Speaking to Ryan Tracey from Manchester City Council's Work & Skills team, he told us “PeoplePlus are always there to support our young entrepreneurs and their advisors provide step by step support. The guidance and the aftercare is second to none and that shows through the development of the traders. Looking back, the market is stronger than ever."
We also spoke to the traders on the day, such as Nez from The Alternative Attic, a clothing brand in Manchester about the vision behind her business; she told us “This started out as me expressing myself and helping other people to express themselves. The idea is that fashion is failing people and sizing doesn't fit people, people don't fit in the boxes fashion wants you to. All of our clothing is hand painted and unisex. It's more about being who you than trying to fit in a box."
Gareth from Sareth Gavage Art, a business specialising in print design, told us “I started out in Huddersfield trading on markets there, I found out about the Manchester Youth Market from the Market Federation and I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to show off my psychedelic prints."
If you're interested in trading at Manchester Youth Market contact the We Love Manchester Charity here.
If you would like support with your business idea and want to know how to be ready to trade, contact PeoplePlus Enterprise on 0161 507 6366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.