TALENTED artists discovered there was a market for their work as they launched their first business venture.

Bolton Sixth Form art students swapped the studio for the boardroom as they received Lord Sugar-style tips from business students as they set up a stall of their artwork on Bolton Market this week for shoppers.

This is the first time students have gone it alone to develop their entrepreneurial skills to complement their creative abilities. And business students put their learning to the test, giving them a 'real-life' opportunity for them to put together a business plan, and put into practice their customer service and sales skills.

Market officers provided a stall to ensure the young people fully capitalise on their venture — and sales were said to have gone well — as well as showcasing to young people what Bolton Market has to offer them.

Craig Burrell, head of business at Bolton Sixth Form College, said: "This is a great opportunity for our students to develop some entrepreneurial skills and gain practical experience in setting up a small business.

"They have looked at pricing policies, profit and loss as well as using social media to promote their stall. We are extremely pleased that Bolton Market have given our students this opportunity. The college is always keen to engage with local employers and it is these real-life experiences that will give them the edge when applying for further study, apprenticeships and jobs."

The young traders will back at the market tomorrow.

Lucy Wallwork, aged 17, said: "This opportunity allowed us to showcase our work.

"I started with little knowledge of art and have progress into a confident artist."

Zubair Patel, aged 17, added: "I gained experience in interacting with customers, learning sales and communication technique."

Clement Raphael, aged 18, said: "I have now got a new appreciation for how much hard work it takes to produce the artwork, set up a sales environment and promote ourselves and our products to customers."

Steven Turney, assistant manager of Bolton Market, said: "The work was unique and modern and was well received by the shoppers.

"We have just spoken to the students after their first day of trading and they have had a positive experience while also selling quite a few pieces of art, and we look forward to the next days of trading."