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EKM helping young entrepreneurs in Lancashire

The EKM team attended The Teenage Market at The National Festival of Making, made possible by sponsors Blackburn BID. The Teenage Market is a national initiative that gives young market traders a free platform to promote and sell through their own business.

The event spanned across two days, and saw the streets of Blackburn town centre taken over with markets, music, street food, art, performance, talks and tours. The sun was shining and the atmosphere was fantastic, making for a great setting for the event.

The event was organised by local university students studying Events Management, and their intention was to establish the Teenage Market as a fun area of the festival that provides activities and entertainment for families. The festival was situated between Blackburn Market and the newly developed bus station.


19 inspiring young entrepreneurs between the age of 13-25 set up their market stalls ready to trade their handmade goods to the public, and be in with the chance of winning one of two awards to help them advance their business.

The first award was the Visual Trader of The Weekend, judged by Clare Turner from Blackburn Market. The winner of this prize would receive a stall on Blackburn Market where they can sell their goods. The second award was the Virtual Trader of The Weekend award, judged by our very own CEO Antony Chesworth. The winner of this award would receive a free EKM shop for 6 months, in order to grow their business online through ecommerce.

We headed down on the Saturday morning to setup our own EKM stall, so that we could demonstrate how everyone should be able to do something they love, and how anyone can follow in the footsteps of these incredible young entrepreneurs.

To kick-start the judging, Antony and Clare visited each stall to chat with the young entrepreneurs, finding more out about them and their businesses.

After much deliberation, the award winners were announced at 4pm on Sunday 13th May.

The winner of the Visual Trader of the Weekend award was 20 year old Mehtaab Waseem from Taabis Treats. Mehtaab is a fully qualified pastry chef and makes cakes and cupcakes for any occasion. Mehtaab said:

[quote] “This weekend’s Teenage Market was the best one I have attended. The location and atmosphere was amazing and it was a great idea to run competitions for the traders. Winning a temporary stall within Blackburn market will boost my confidence for my business and improve my overall knowledge of the industry”.

The winner of the Virtual Trader of The Weekend award and a free EKM shop for 6 months was 22 year old Annie Cupit from Annie’s Candles UK.

Annie’s Candles UK is a Prince’s Trust backed business dedicated to luxury candles which add a custom touch to every home. She single-handedly runs the business and makes scented soy or beeswax candles in containers or as part of freestanding designs. Annie said:
“The beeswax is locally sourced from a man who lives on the same road as me, and my business has a strong environmental focus. Any candle a customer can imagine I can find a way to make it.”

As part of the prize, Annie will receive the pinnacle level of EKM service from our EKM ecommerce experts, who will advise her on an appropriate marketing strategy and mentor her as she grows her business online.

We loved being a part of this incredible event, and look forward to getting involved next year.

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