18-year-old selling creepy crawlies wins bursary
THE winner of this year’s Beacon Bursary entrepreneurship competition goes to an 18-year-old who has set up an online entomology business, selling bugs and other creepy crawlies.
Cameron Reardon will receive a cash prize of £5,000, free office space for a year within the Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, and business mentoring support to help develop his business Bug Box UK.
The 18-year-old from Felinfoel has just completed his BTEC Level 3 in public services at Coleg Sir Gâr and will be studying business management with marketing at Swansea University from September.
“With the money I’m going to buy a shed,” said Cameron. “At the moment my stock is in my bedroom, which my mum doesn’t like! Now I’m going to be able to increase my stock and the money will also help me go to different shows to sell.”
Cameron was a finalist in last year’s competition, and said the mentoring which comes with the prize would also be very beneficial. He added: “Last year I received some mentoring and that was amazing. It’s really opened my eyes.”
Cameron was one of five entrepreneurs to reach this year’s final and get the chance to pitch their proposals to a panel of judges including Carmarthenshire Council leader Emlyn Dole; Chris Jenkins from Gerald Thomas Accountancy; Angharad Harding from Yr Egin and the winner of last year’s competition, Amanda Thomas from Biscuit Barkery.
All five entrepreneurs who made it through to present their business ideas at this year’s final in the Beacon Centre, were students from Coleg Sir Gâr.
Second place and receiving £2,000 and six months free office space at the Beacon, went to Dante Diana and his alcohol beverage business Oddball Moonshine.
Third place and receiving £1,000 and six months free office space at the Beacon for one year, went to Imogen Mills and her swatch fabric design business Cloth.
The other finalists were Simon Thomas with his business Particip8 and Charlotte Voaden of Charlotte Voaden Design.
The Beacon Bursary is an annual competition run by Carmarthenshire Council in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Mr Dole, who is responsible for Economic Development, said: “This year’s standard of entries was high once again, but as judges we were unanimous that Bug Box UK is a great business idea and a worthy winner. I would like to wish Cameron the best of luck in the future with his business.”
Amanda Daniels, Coleg Sir Gâr assistant principal said: “This year I am delighted that all three of the successful bursary winners are Coleg Sir Gâr learners, their passion and drive to succeed is infectious and I am confident that their businesses will contribute positively to the economy.”
Cameron Reardon with Carmarthenshire Council leader Emlyn Dole.