As Arsyllfa enters the second phase of its delivery, the project team concludes that its work is more important than ever, as communities across Carmarthenshire come to terms with the impact of Covid-19.
Phase 1, which came to an end in June, focussed on the feasibility assessment and stakeholder engagement strand of the project, to analyse existing research and establish a strong knowledge base for fostering an entrepreneurial culture in the county.
One strand that emerged strongly was the case for a dedicated rural think-tank, with a mission to foster an entrepreneurial culture across rural Wales more generally. The public health crisis only served justify this thinking further, as the country locked down employees worked from home in greater numbers than ever before, and businesses shut their doors. Phase 2 will also see the establishment of an e-hub in partnership with Rural Network Wales to capitalise on the experience and knowledge of rural communities beyond the county boundary.
The test trading element of the project which looks at fostering new entrepreneurial ideas is central to the project, and several reports and academic papers were analysed to inform Arsyllfa’s thinking, including consideration of the impact of both Brexit and Covid-19 on Carmarthenshire.
One of the more exciting strands to be developed in Phase 2, therefore, is the test trading innovation prize for Carmarthenshire. This will be an open call for ideas as a means of nurturing pre-commercial concepts that are excellent on paper, but have yet to be tested further. The team is currently working on the details of the innovation prize, which is to be launched in September.
For a summary of Phase 1 and a snapshot of our Phase 2 plans please see links to the papers below: