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Young women succeeding in business thanks to EU project

Young women succeeding in business thanks to EU project

Sioned Medi Evans

An EU-funded project helping young people across North West Wales to trial their business ideas is proving popular with women participants.

The £3.8m Llwyddo’n Lleol project, led by Gwynedd County Council in partnership with local authorities in Anglesey, Conwy and Denbighshire, has seen an increasing number of young women considering self-employment as a viable career option.

So far, the project, backed by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, has awarded 62 bursaries to young people and 58 of these were young women.

Eighteen-year-old Sioned Medi Evans of Garn Fadryn, Llŷn Peninsula, is one of those taking part, having received support to establish a jewellery making venture. She began by developing a business plan and then successfully applied for a Llwyddo’n Lleol bursary, enabling her to purchase materials and start producing enamel jewellery including necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Sioned said:

“Llwyddo’n Lleol has been a wonderful help to me. I could not have achieved or thought of starting a business without it as everything is so expensive but everything was made convenient to apply with guidance and support from the project officers.”

Llwyddo’n Lleol – which means ‘Succeeding Locally’ – provides bursaries to help individuals and groups across North West Wales who are between 11 an 19 years old, to help them pursue enterprising ideas and develop the skills they need to set up their own ventures. The bursaries can be used to assist with developing projects, training costs, developing a website or even renting business premises.

Sioned Williams, Head of Economy and Community, Gwynedd Council:

“Traditionally, females have been less likely to consider setting up their own ventures. Many may search for work outside their local areas. While the project aims to create a culture of enterprise amongst all young people who participate, we are delighted that we are supporting a host of young women to achieve success within their own communities.”

As well as bursaries, the project provides help and advice to young people to identify work opportunities within local growth sectors and key skills needed to make the transition into employment or self-employment.

Deputy Minister for European Programmes, Alun Davies, said:

“I am pleased to hear that this EU-backed initiative is instilling a ‘can-do’ mindset amongst young people, enabling them to turn their enterprising ideas into commercial reality and increasing prosperity for themselves and the communities in which they live.”

Sioned said:

“I discovered jewellery making as a child and later studied Design and Technology at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, Pwllheli. With the support I received from Llwyddo’n Lleol I’ve been able to get the ball rolling to turn my hobby into my own business known as Sioned Medi. Before I received the bursary I was making jewellery using old materials. Now I’m able to purchase the materials needed to make practical yet unique jewellery pieces.”