WATCH out Julien MacDonald, there is a new Welsh designer, from Coleg Sir Gar, about to take the fashion world by storm.
Lian Cara Poulson is the winner of the Beacon Bursary and will receive a cash prize of £3000, free office space within the Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, and business mentoring support to help develop her business. The 23-year-old from Llandovery recently completed her degree at Coleg Sir Gar ’s Carmarthen School of Art and will establish her own fashion label Lian Cara. She impressed the judges with her blend of creative talent, commercial vision and professional business plan and presentation.
Lian was one of 10 new entrepreneurs to reach the final of the Beacon Bursary competition and pitch their proposals to a panel of judges including Carmarthenshire Council Leader Emlyn Dole, Angharad Harding, manager of Yr Atom in Carmarthen; Chris Jenkins from Gerald Thomas Accountants and last year’s Beacon Bursary winner Martin Goddard of Music HQ.
Second place went to Jennifer Collins, a 35-year-old mum from Burry Port, who wants to set up a school holiday club in the Llanelli area called Clwb Oasis. Her idea is to introduce a more formal activity schedule delivered over a longer day to allow parents to manage work life balance better during school holidays. Jennifer, who is studying a BA in Events Management in University of Wales Trinity Saint David, aims to develop a good brand locally before expanding the business model further afield.
Third place went to Danielle Ace for her online community and ecommerce business The Stitching Bee specialising in the stitching, yarning and crafting market. The online shop will sell a wide range of products associated to the market including creative well-being gift boxes, zenbroidery kits, and much more. Danielle, aged 30, from Llanelli, is currently studying Counselling and Psychotherapy in Swansea University having previously graduated in psychology and a foundation course with the British Association of Art Therapy.
The Beacon Bursary is an annual competition run by by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
The award provides new businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to access finance, office space and a wealth of advice and support and which will provide the best opportunity for their new businesses to flourish.
The vision for The Beacon, Centre for Enterprise is to act as a leading light in nurturing and training both young enterprise skills and to develop entrepreneur business talent to enter the private sector across South West Wales.
Council Leader Emlyn Dole, who is responsible for Economic Development, said: “I would like to congratulate Lian, a very worthy winner, and I am looking forward to seeing her business develop. I would also like to commend Jennifer and Danielle and all the other finalists; it was a very close call and we could see the potential in all the business ideas and we will do our best to help and support each and every one of them.
“As a council, we are committed to developing entrepreneurship within the county and this is reflected through important initiatives such as the Beacon Bursary.”
For more information about Coleg Sir Gar visit: www.colegsirgar.ac.uk