INDEPENDENT artisans, traders and creative businesses will have the opportunity to showcase their products virtually thanks to the vision of a leading community organisation.
With markets, small firms and shops across North Wales forced to close due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC) is about to launch a new venture – Change Makers Markets.
With the aim of creating innovative ways of supporting the local economy – made possible by the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund – Change Makers blends the virtual and digital worlds, incorporating a dedicated commercial training academy, one-to-one mentoring, funding advice and business planning guidance.
This will be coupled with a digital and broadcast shop front and the Change Makers Club, giving artisans, market traders and newly-emerging organisations a voice and promotional platform.
Alison Carter, Enterprise and Investment Manager for DVSC, says people can sign up for free training and future events via the Change Makers website and social media platforms.
“We are encouraging start-up businesses, makers and anyone who would normally sell from a market stall or pop-up venues to sign up as soon as possible,” she said.
“We are also in the process of refurbishing the Grade 2 listed Market Hall in Ruthin, which will launch as a safe, multi purpose space for trading and events later in the year.
“This will provide a significant town centre resource, to support economic regeneration and reinvigorate the independent business sector devastated by Covid-19.”
She added: “Change Makers is a really interesting, experimental concept, and DVSC is thrilled to also be partnering with Hwb Menter to assist with business advice, guidance and training.”
Change Makers are looking for local food and drink producers, designers, artisans, crafts companies, health and beauty, and sustainable/vintage fashion retailers to get involved.
Sara Lois Roberts, Enterprise Hub Co-ordinator for Hwb Menter, stressed the importance of the training and guidance element of the project.
“Collectively, we have a lot of expertise at our disposal and will be holding regular webinars and advice sessions,” she said.
“Members of the Change Makers community can contact us anytime, we will always be here with help and guidance, particularly during this challenging time for all industries.”
DVSC sees Change Makers as a catalyst for ideas and a new breed of social enterprise, embracing the promotion of contemporary artisan markets, traders, makers and crafters, whilst providing emerging entrepreneurs and ‘startisans’ with training and support to turn a hobby or passion into a new career in 2021.
“This is an opportunity to be entrepreneurial and innovative at a time when businesses really need some uplift, so we are hoping for a positive response,” added Alison.
For more information and to register for free, visit www.changemakersenterprises.com
Alternatively, join the Facebook community here: https://www.facebook.com/changemakersmarket