Jolene Haggarty is named as Paisley’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 26 year old founder of Jolene’s Swift Flowers in Erskine was announced as regional winner at a ceremony at The University of the West of Scotland in Paisley today. She was presented with a £1000 cash prize by Stuart Macdonald, managing director of Seric Systems, sponsors of the winner’s award. Ms Haggarty 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.
Ms Haggerty set up Jolene’s Swift Flowers in December 2008 having worked as a florist for over 10 years and trained at Woodburn House School of Floristry. Her skills as a florist have earned her an outstanding reputation and in addition to her private clients, she caters for local businesses including schools, hotels and funeral directors. She regularly benefits from repeat custom and has received bookings for 30 weddings this year already. She is currently finalising a franchise opportunity with Erskine Garden Centre to open a unit on their premises and is looking at recruiting an additional member of staff to cope with the growing trade.
The runner-up is Andrew Peacock from Renfrew who fulfilled an ambition of owning his own garage in March 2009 when he launched AP Motor Engineers. The 26 year old is a time served mechanic with over 11 years experience in repairing and maintaining vehicles. He developed an interest in mechanics in his teens, often helping out in local garages in his spare time. A five year apprenticeship ensued followed by three years work spent working for a garage specialising in the repair and servicing of Italian cars.
The skills and contacts that Mr Peacock gained whilst serving his apprenticeship have proved invaluable. Not only has he earned himself a reputation of being an honest and reliable mechanic he has also maintained strong links with his previous employer. They regularly refer clients to one other, which allows the young entrepreneur to offer a complete package of services to his customers. With his customer base continuing to grow and expand, he is considering introducing an MOT station in the near future. A representative from Renfrewshire Council presented Mr Peacock 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 £35.1million in funding and additional assistance.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, PSYBT regional manager, Sara Hunter 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.”
Stuart Macdonald of Seric Systems 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 Paisley region but throughout Scotland.”
The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare advisor, Ailsa Russell, who was named Paisley’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. Ms Russell 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, Sara Hunter on tel. 0141 842 3669 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
Jolene’s Swift Flower’s
Unit 1 KilpatrickDrive
Bridgewater Industrial Estate
Tel: 0141 812 0855
AP Motor Engineers
Unit 2 13 Anderson Drive
Tel: 0141 561 4340
Mob: 07880 541 141