TEENAGE entrepreneurs are being encouraged to set up shop at an award-winning Darlington market.

By offering low cost stall rental and mentoring, the organisers of Darlington Sunday People’s Market hope to encourage more youngsters to launch their own business.

A special offer of £10 for the first two stalls at the monthly market and £15 for the third is on offer to any budding business owners aged 19 and under. Normal stall rental is £22.

It is hoped the scheme will encourage teenagers to try out their creative business ideas in a risk-free environment, with help from the market’s organisers.

Co-founder of the market, Alex Blackham, said: “We can give them anything they need to get started – we can encourage them and help them financially in terms of reduced rates.

“If they have a great idea we can help them to put it into practice, and help them if it needs a bit of tweaking here or change of direction.

“It gives young people a chance to try their idea and make a bit of pocket money, or raise money for charity or community group - whatever it happens to be they can do it.”

Sarah Oatley’s 15-year-old son, Reuben, used the market to launch his own business making and selling handmade jewellery made out of Lego.

Despite desperately searching for a job, he struggled to get hired because of his age, so set up his business last year and is now a regular at the monthly market.

Mrs Oatley, who taught her son the basics of running a business, said: “Now when he is short of cash he will ask me when the next market is so he can go and make some money. He realises that hard work equates to money.

“Standing on a market for eight hours a day is hard work, and he will get tired by the end of it. But when he goes home and sees how much he has made he can feel proud that he is running his own business and making his own money.”

The market is held on the first Sunday of every month. Anyone wanting a stall can email dspm.darlington@live.co.uk

For more information visit facebook.com/dspmsundays