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Entrepreneurs invited to join Tesco, Morrisons, M&S: with a market stall

Tesco, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer: all retail empires that started as market stalls.

Now, budding entrepreneurs are being offered the opportunity to sell their wares for up to five days on a free market stall in Wiltshire in May.

Wiltshire Council has teamed up with the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) on a scheme called First Pitch which encourages people who have a business idea to test it out at a market stall.

The council will be providing a free pitch at the Shambles market in Devizes and a free pitch at Warminster market as part of a wider national initiative to encourage local trade.

The free stalls will be available to two successful candidates for up to five days during the Love your Local Market fortnight (May 15 to 29).

There is also the opportunity to be part of a wider scheme which could allow those two traders to carry on at the stall at a discounted rate with support from a mentor for a year.

Their stalls will be judged, and if successful will be one of 100 stalls across the UK selling goods at a discounted rate for 12 months with personalised support from the NMTF.

Those wanting to take part need to apply with details of what they would sell on the market by Friday, April 19 to

Dick Tonge, cabinet member for markets said: “Taking that first step on the business ladder can be daunting but a market stall is a great place to start.

“This initiative will provide a great opportunity for traders to have a head start at working on their own business.” 

First Pitch is open to UK residents over 16 with less than six months experience of market trading.