This week saw the launch of Supa Market, the United Kingdom’s first youth-led pop-up market.

Five hundred budding entrepreneurs have staged a weekend takeover of The Old Truman Brewery in London to launch Supa Market, the United Kingdom’s first youth-led pop-up market. The event enabled participants to “earn while they learned” about the retail industry.


The event taps into a growing trend toward youth entrepreneurship—our Generation Z report notes that 40% of teens are already exploring it as a way to make money. It was created by two such young entrepreneurs, Bejay Mulenga and Liam Tootill, who were struck by the hurdles that many face just to get started in the world of work.


Their start-up Supa Academy aims to equip 18- to 24-year-olds with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to take their first steps in business. Sponsors including River Island, Accenture, Facebook and EE pitched in to help teach entrepreneurial skills such as pricing, merchandising, e-commerce and customer experience.

Supa Market trainees manned an eclectic mix of stalls and an e-commerce platform. Some saw the experience as a way to add sparkle to their résumés, some had secured offers of work, and others were preparing to launch their own businesses.

Recently, more brands have begun positioning themselves as allies to young people keen to skill up: TopShop partnered with Olympus to offer workshops for wannabe bloggers and photographers in May 2015, while Tesco has joined forces with Freeformers to offer coding classes in August for 16- to 25-year-olds.


More than 900,000 young people in the United Kingdom aged 16 to 24 are currently not in work, training or education. Initiatives like Supa Market point to opportunities for brands to support a new wave of experiential learning to inspire and foster young talent in business.

Image source: i-D