Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneurs Hit the High Notes of Success

Keith Morrison is named as the Outer Hebrides top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2010 Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards. 

The 26 year old founder of The Wee Studio on the Isle of Lewis was announced as regional winner at a ceremony at the Bridge Community Centre in Stornoway on Friday.  He was presented with a £1000 cash prize by Mr Roy Jappy, Manager of the Stornoway branch of Lloyds TSB, sponsors of the winner’s award.  Mr Morrison will now be considered by the judging panel to be entered into the national final taking place at Glasgow’s City Chambers on Tuesday 16th November 2010. Six of the 18 regional winners are selected to compete for the coveted national title of PSYBT ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and the opportunity to win an additional £2000.  

Keith Morrison was brought up in a musical family on the island of Lewis and spent his teenage years playing in his own band, Face the West, and with other musicians.  On leaving school, Keith completed a computing degree and pursued a career in this line of work, whilst continuing to pursue his passion for music. Over time it became harder for Keith to balance the demands of his music commitments with full-time work, and in 2007 Keith decided to leave his job and set up his own business called Wee Studio, specialising in a wide range of music related services. 

As well as managing the intensive schedule for Face the West, Keith also performs as a solo and freelance musician, composing music and offering web design, recording, production and equipment services.  Wee Studio is about to take occupancy of its own premises for the first time which will be a significant milestone for the business and will allow Keith to further develop the services offered.  The new premises will allow for tuition and rehearsal space. It will also act as an administrative base from which to run current business activity and expand into a booking agency for local bands and leasing performance equipment. 

 The runner-up is Alison Macleod (31) who set up Tiger Textiles in 2007, a small business also on the island of Lewis, offering a range of art and textile pieces, collaborations and commissions designed on her original ideas. Initially the business started from commissions for original decorative pieces, including a wall-block product inspired by Japanese art, featuring colour and text which sells in considerable quantities through local craft shops and on Ms Macleod’s website.  

More recently Ms Macleod has struck a collaboration with fashion designer Judith Clark, marrying Clark’s garment and Macleod’s textile design skills.  All of their joint work is created in the medium of Harris Tweed, giving them an instantly recognisable style.  Last year they were commissioned to create original bespoke designs to represent the Harris Tweed industry at the Scottish Fashion Awards and have gone on to exhibit their work around the country and as far afield as Tokyo and New York. More recently Tiger Textiles has expanded into other areas of design work such as logos and stationery commissions.   A representative from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar presented Ms Macleod with a £500 cash prize and runners-up certificate. 

Both the winner and the runner-up received funding, advice and support from PSYBT, which during the last twenty one years, has supported almost 12,000 young people to start over 10,000 businesses, providing £31.5million in funding and additional assistance. 

Speaking at the awards ceremony, PSYBT regional manager, Sarah Maclean said, “Our regional finalists have demonstrated ambition, courage and determination to set up and develop their own businesses.  Youth enterprise is something to be recognised and applauded and we wish them all the best for the national final.” 

Roy Jappy of Lloyds TSB added, “We are delighted to support PSYBT and these awards which recognise the achievements of Scotland’s young people and encourage an environment that celebrates business innovation. Entrepreneurship is essential to our future prosperity not just in the Outer Hebrides region but throughout Scotland.” 

The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of panel member, Fred Silver, who was named Outer Hebrides regional Volunteer of the Year. Mr Silver will go forward and have the chance of winning the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals in November.

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 For further information contact, PSYBT Regional Manager, Sarah Maclean on 01851 707 304 or Margaret Gibson/Emma Fitzpatrick at PSYBT head office on Tel no. 0141 248 4999.  Visit the PSYBT WEBSITE at www.psybt.org.uk

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

Contact: keithie_boy@hotmail.co.uk,   01851 70 6748, 07979946107

 

Contact: alison_macleod@yahoo.co.uk, 01851 810 495, 07787924420

 

Contact: Jen Nash
Phone: 07971 466 220
Email: jen@panachecommunications.co.uk
Website: http://www.