The search is on for Young Market Trader of the Year

Published: 07 Mar 2023

Food by Georgia market stall

Horsham is set to host the first heat of a national competition to find the 2023 Young Market Trader of the Year on 30 April.

The competition is being organised as a result of a new partnership this spring between Horsham District Council and the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) and is open to all Horsham District traders under the age of 30. Winners of the first heat will progress to the South-East Regional Final at Broadway Market later in July.

The competition is part of a whole range of new incentives to encourage businesses to try out market stall trading, giving them extra exposure for their business.

Reduced start-up costs are just the start of attractions being offered to small business owners

Six market operators in Horsham, Billingshurst, Henfield and Steyning are offering a package of support, initially for three months, starting this March including special rates on stall fees, online business guidance, training workshops and even greater help for those aged 30 and under as part of the NMTF’s Young Trader scheme.

The under 30s scheme that each of the participating markets has adopted offers a free NMTF ‘taster membership’ for up to the first six bookings. This includes free public liability insurance, discounted card payment processing options and access to start-up finance.

Every new business that books a stall before the end of April with one of the six market operators will be entered into a Council-run draw to win one of ten Visit Horsham Business Directory annual subscriptions, each worth £150 to help boost their profile on and off the market.

Speaking on behalf of Horsham District Council, Leader Cllr Claire Vickers said:

Trading from a market stall raises the profile of small businesses in the community and provides a cost-effective opportunity to engage directly with customers, in a way in which internet trading hardly ever does.

We are hoping that many more fledgling businesses will be persuaded to give market trading a try as a result of these incentives. With all of the best-practice guidance and support on offer, there is every opportunity to make outdoor markets an essential part of their sales channels.

I am particularly pleased at this level of partnership working between our officers, the District’s market operators and NMTF industry professionals in support of our small independent businesses.

Tania Murphy and Brendon Dyson from NMTF have been closely involved in development of the local campaign and have been commissioned to design and run two exclusive live training workshops, one for new and one for regular traders, on ‘How to make the most of your stalls’ on the 21 and 22 March respectively.

Tania said:

To find out more and book a place on the course visit the Council's Business Training Programme page. Brendan and I will be tailoring each course to ensure both new and regular traders gain as much value as possible, not just from us, but also from networking with likeminded businesses. The workshops are free to attend and will be held at Horsham Football Club’s excellent facilities.

The markets participating in the campaign are:

  • Carfax Local Market Horsham (Thursdays and Saturdays) – exclusively focused on local produce and crafts on Saturdays.
  • West Street Entrepreneurs Markets Horsham (Saturdays)
  • Horsham Vegan Market at Piries Place, Horsham (last Saturday of the month)
  • Billingshurst Artisan Market, Billingshurst (third Sunday of the month)
  • Henfield Artisan Market, (second Sunday of the month)
  • Steyning Farmers’ Market, (first Saturday of the month).

Find out more on our District Markets page