TINY traders from a Wrexham school are travelling to Poland to sell their home-made Valentine’s products.
The budding entrepreneurs from Borras Park Junior School have had great success selling hand-made soaps, chocolates, love spoons and decorative hearts at market in Wrexham.
But now they face the new challenge of selling to the people of Bydgoszcz, going up against groups from Spain, Turkey and Italy, as well as their Polish hosts.
The once in a lifetime opportunity is part of the project ‘Fresh Eyes for New Commerce’ designed by teacher Sara Ridley at the school for just such an international exchange.
“They’re all very keen and it gives them the opportunity to see all the aspects of business, albeit on a small scale.
“They’ve learned about working to deadlines, profit margins, personnel issues and researching foreign markets, all by doing it.
“It’s really expanded their horizons.”
She said the idea was to enable pupils to travel to different countries to test markets, collect ideas and eventually collaborate on a joint international product.
“It will give the children confidence to both compete and co-operate within Europe,” she said.
Team technical adviser Connor O’Toole, 10, said he was excited about the trip and added: “I’m hoping it will go quite well with the selling because we sold quite quickly at our school.”
But, he said, he did not know what the Eastern Europeans would make of Welsh Valentine’s Day products.
“I don’t know whether they’ll like them or not,” he said.
The pupils had already doubled their initial investment of £100, made last November.
Hannah Rodgers, 10, said she was hoping for good sales in Poland, but she was staying at home this time, as only six of the 12-strong Year 5 business club will be flying out – Connor, stock manager Harry Griffiths, marketing manager Ryan Williams, legal adviser Luke Maddocks and researchers Ambria Pearce and Charlie Moulton-Wilde.
Hannah will not have long to wait until her own trip abroad however as the company is off to Italy in May to test some local Welsh food on its hosts.
In October, they will travel to Spain to start developing a product jointly with their European counterparts.
The business club company was first set up in 2010 by teacher Lisa Jones and is the only business club at a junior school in Wrexham.
Lisa said the project aimed to give pupils as broad and realistic idea of the world of commerce as possible.
“We hope we are delivering a project that will show children a can-do attitude towards initiating business ideas,” she said.
The scheme is backed by Comenius, a charity which encourages European schools to communicate and forge links.
Pupils were visited by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas before packing for Poland.
Mr Lucas said: “The pupils should be commended for their work on what is a fascinating project.
“Their scheme is helping forge links with young people in other countries, is teaching them about commerce, and is helping promote Wrexham.”