Gillian Parker is named as Inverclyde’s top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2010 Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.
The 23 year old founder of Sew Vintage in Gourock was announced as regional winner at a ceremony at British Polythene Industries’ offices in Inverclyde yesterday. She was presented with a £1000 cash prize by John Langlands of British Polythene Industries Ltd, sponsors of the winner’s award. Ms Parker 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.
Sew Vintage boutique in Shore Street specialises in affordable women’s and men’s fashions, quirky clothing, shoes and accessories. Ms Parker, who won a BT Scotland award earlier this year for the Most Visionary Business, also sells her own womanswear brand, Molly Pippins, with styles and fabrics inspired by the vintage retro look. Her long term plans are to concentrate on developing and marketing the Molly Pippins brand and to increase her online presence within vintage retailing.
The runner-up is Paul Couper whose company, Paul Couper Joinery specialises in conversions and extensions in addition to smaller jobs such as fitting kitchens and general property repairs. The 27 year old spent four years as an apprentice and five years broadening his hands on experience before setting up his joinery business in January 2009. The construction industry has suffered in the current economic climate and although Paul Couper Joinery firm has struggled through a number of lean periods, his business has remained steady and its founder has recently taken on an apprentice. Mr Couper continues to find ways to keep his business viable and look for opportunities to generate income. He has a close working relationship with a number of other tradesmen including electricians, bricklayers, plumbers, and plasterers. This network allows him to take on more complex jobs and also to benefit from jobs which might require specialist skills. Depute Provost David Wilson of Inverclyde Council presented Mr Couper 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, Edith Baird 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.”
Mr Langlands of British Polythene Industries 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 Inverclyde region but throughout Scotland.”
The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare advisor, Stuart Paterson, who was named Inverclyde’s regional Volunteer of the Year. A PSYBT regional manager assists with everything from compiling a business plan to securing premises. Once the business is up and running, an aftercare adviser is appointed, all of whom are experts in their fields. They work as volunteers for the organisation, with the sole aim of helping young entrepreneurs sustain their business and offering them crucial advice during the first two years in business. Mr Paterson will go forward and have the chance of winning the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals in November.
For further information contact, PSYBT Regional Manager, Edith Baird on tel. 01475 715562 or Margaret Gibson/Emma Fitzpatrick at PSYBT head office on Tel no. 0141 248 4999. Visit the PSYBT wensite at www.psybt.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS
Gillian Parker, Sew Vintage Ltd, Web http://www.sewvintage.co.uk, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Paul Couper, Paul Couper Joinery, Email: email@example.com, 07949667424