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Bury St Edmunds: Young entrepreneurs get the chance to launch their own shop and win £10,000

PUBLISHED: 18:04 05 March 2014 | UPDATED: 18:07 05 March 2014

Archant

Young entrepreneurs can chance their luck in the real world of business as one west Suffolk town signed up to a pioneering project.

Bury St Edmunds is one of just seven towns across the country involved in the TestTown initiative, run by the charity Carnegie UK Trust.

Carnegie will help individuals and groups launch their ideas for new high street shops, with vacant premises made available for the youngsters to trial their ideas.

The owner of Bury’s best trial business will get £500 of start-up funding and be entered into the national final for a chance to win £10,000.

Bury’s involvement in the scheme has been spearheaded by Our Bury St Edmunds chief executive Mark Cordell, who said he was “delighted” the town had been chosen as the host town for the whole of central and southern England.

St Edmundsbury councillor Robert Everitt, the council’s cabinet member for Bury, urged the town’s budding business brains to get involved.

“The young entrepreneurs that want to trial running their own business can get a premises to see if it works,” he said.

“We all know of large multinationals that have trialled, been successful and grown into what they are today, and now there’s the opportunity to do that in this area.

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if one of our young entrepreneurs was able to win a national event, having trialled it here in Bury St Edmunds.”

Jim Metcalfe, TestTown programme leader at the Carnegie UK Trust, added: “We have deliberately selected a diverse range of towns for our regional heats. Some are thriving; others have challenging retail environments; and some attract more tourist traffic. Each brings a unique aspect to TestTown and should provide really interesting results.

“As a result, there is no need for applicants to simply look at their nearest ‘TestTown’. Applicants should assess what might suit their business idea.

“TestTown is about giving the next generation of entrepreneurs the support needed to help make their business idea a reality, after all.”

TestTown is now open for applications from anyone aged 16-30, until the deadline on April 16. Find out more at www.testtown.org.uk or follow @TestTown2014 on Twitter.

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