Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs Battle for their Place in the Brighton Final

Sponsors and finalists at the Brighton speed networking event

Sponsors and finalists at the Brighton speed networking event

Aspiring young entrepreneurs gathered at the Quakers in Brighton on Thursday 15th December, as they fought for their place in the final of the Young Start-up Talent initiative across Brighton and Hove. Over the course of the evening the young entrepreneurs were able to speak with the sponsors on a 1-2-1 basis in a ‘speed networking’ style, gaining invaluable insight into the world of enterprise and advice on how they should proceed with their budding business ideas.

The initiative, which started in 2010, is aimed at finding the next up-and-coming young entrepreneurs aged between 16 - 25 years old. After a gruelling process, the winner will be announced of a prize fund of business products and services worth upto £50,000! With over 140 sponsors across the South East, including prevalent local businesses such as NatWest, Gatwick Airport, Hartley Fowler Chartered Accountants, FaceMedia Group and Sussex Chamber of Commerce to name but a few, the initiative is proving to be very popular.

Ana Christie, Chief Executive at the Sussex Chamber of Commerce and judge, commented; “As this is my first time judging, I am surprised at the quality of the pitches and presentation of the young entrepreneurial ideas. The Sussex Chamber of Commerce are very proud to be sponsors of such a fantastic initiative.”

Jim Cunliffe from FaceMedia added; “Every kid has a great idea. Young Start-up Talent gives them the opportunity to express themselves.”


With only ten minutes each, the room was bursting with entrepreneurial spirit as the young entrepreneurs competed for their places as one of the finalists. Fadress Nyirenda, one of the young entrepreneurs, said; “Young Start-up Talent has filled me with a sense of empowerment. It has taken my hobby to a real business concept, giving me a safe space to grow and develop.”

Mark Bennett of Bennett Christmas added, “Young Start-up Talent gives us the opportunity to support young people in their journey towards creating business. As a businessman I can help! Youngsters are fearless and have the drive to make it work. I am really proud to be a sponsor.”

Amongst them, Alison Addy from Gatwick Airport and long term sponsor and supporter of the initiative further commented; “I am really excited and looking forward to watching the young entrepreneur’s progress through the process and seeing how their businesses develop.”

Following the speed networking the sponsors and judges have to make the tough decision of whittling the group down by half, with only five candidates making it through to ‘The Pitch’ in January. At The Pitch, each finalists will present their refined and polished business plans to a panel of judges in the hopes of becoming the Young Start-up Talent Brighton & Hove Champion in 2017. The final is set to take place at The Platform, Brighton, on Wednesday 15th February 2017 where the final winner of the prize fund will be revealed.

Sussex students inspired by Global Entrepreneurship Week

Workshop at  Central Sussex College  - Crawley Campus Nov 2016

Workshop at Central Sussex College - Crawley Campus Nov 2016

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 has marked an extremely successful week for Young Start-up Talent (YST) across Sussex. With an entrepreneurial atmosphere taking over the country, YST has held a number of workshops across the South East to budding young entrepreneurs who are hoping to start their own business. Lorraine Nugent, MD of Media Word Waves Ltd and Founding Partner of Young Start-up Talent commented; “the interest in the initiative has been extremely inspiring and incredible to witness.”

After hosting a drop in session and workshop at the University of Sussex on Monday 14th November, YST then presented a business workshop at the Crawley Campus of Central Sussex College the following day. The turnout was incredible. With over 450 enthusiastic students from all aspects of the curriculum attending the seminar, Young Start-up Talent was extremely disappointed to have to turn away over 150 more students, as there was simply no more room! However, due to the unbelievable attendance and enthusiasm at the college from both students and lectures, Young Start-up Talent will be returning to the Crawley Campus on Tuesday 6th December.

Anahita Henry whose remit is enterprise and entrepreneurship at Central Sussex College said: “The Global Entrepreneurship Week and Young Start-up Talent workshops are key features of the College's calendar.  We strive to instil in our students an enterprising approach to their studies as many of our young people have some really great business ideas with real money-making potential.  Many learners will go on to set up their businesses after being inspired by the YST workshop and entering the competition.  We’ve also seen that our annual focus on enterprise and entrepreneurship gives our students the opportunity to showcase their ideas and talents and pitch to potential employers and investors, making the whole experience very realistic".

Young Start-up Talent was also very honoured to be joined at the workshop by sponsor, Chris Lyle, Business Growth Enabler for NatWest. Chris spoke about her connection to Entrepreneurial Spark, the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures, whose vision is to “to inspire and enable positive social change through the action of entrepreneurship”. On top of this, the students were given an introduction to the world of business and the Young Start-up Talent initiative.

With the deadline for applications being Sunday 18th December for the Gatwick Diamond region, Young Start-up Talent is now feeling extremely positive for their seventh year of running the initiative within the area. With a number of applications having already been received, YST are excited for their next workshop at the Haywards Heath Campus of Central Sussex College and to further school visits booked to sixth forms in the local area.

If you would like the chance to win a prize fund of business products and services worth £50,000 to help you kick-start your business, then apply now on the YST website at or contact us to find out more information on: We look forward to hearing from you!