Young entrepreneurs have gone head-to-head in Wythenshawe to compete for a place in the national final of TestTown, the UK’s biggest initiative to help young people bring their energy and ideas to the country’s high streets.
Budding businesses people set up shop in a marquee at Wythenshawe Civic Centre on Friday 8 to Saturday 9 August to compete for the chance to take part in the TestTown final this autumn, where the winner will scoop £10,000 worth of start-up funding for their idea.
Businesses taking part included a silversmith, fashion designers and a smoothie making business, but it was the brain-child of Northern Moor resident Aaron Darke that stood out from the crowd with his business Zymurgorium being named the winner.
Zymurgorium is an alternative, community-focused meadery and brewery company from Wythenshawe. Zymurgorium’s plan is to offer a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic organic drinks, raw materials for which are foraged in the local area. Their non-alcoholic range, includes novel tipples such as ‘hibiscus cola’.
Zymurgorium will now go on to compete against eight other finalist in the national final of TestTown in Cambridge on 10 and 11 October 2014.
Other regional finals for TestTown have been held in Middlesbrough, Rhyl, Kirkintilloch, Bury St Edmunds, Perth and Coleraine.
Over 400 teams of young people aged 18 – 30 applied to take part in TestTown.
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We know that there are many young people in Manchester who have the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to become successful in business.
“The TestTown scheme has offered five teams an invaluable chance to bring their ideas to Wythenshawe, get real experience of how the high street works in practice and develop their professional skills.
“I’d like to congratulate all the participants in Wythenshawe and wish Zymurgorium the very best of luck in the national final.”
Aaron Darke, from Zymurgorium, said: “TestTown was a great way to test my business idea in a safe environment.
“The experience has shown me that there is a demand for Zymurgorium’s product and in the future a shop would work really well.”
For more information about TestTown please visit: www.testtown.org.uk
For more information about Zymurgorium please visit www.facebook.com/zymurgorium or follow on twiter at @Zymurgorium