A joiner has been named Fife’s top young entrepreneurs at the regional finals of the 2009 Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.
Jim Bell (25) founder of Jim Bell Joinery was announced as the regional winner and was presented with a £1000 cash prize by Ken Munro of the award sponsors, Babcock, at a ceremony held in Adam Smith College. He will now be considered by the judging panel to be entered into the national final taking place at Glasgow’s City Chambers on Wednesday 18th November 2009. 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.
Mr Bell started his joinery business in September 2007 and now has a team of 30 self employed joiners and labourers that support him in carrying out a wide variety of contracts ranging from kitchen renewals to full commercial renovation work. One of these contracts is for a UK company which installs furniture into schools, universities and hospitals, which has led to some joint tendering opportunities. Mr Bell has recently taken out new premises to produce bespoke furniture for the local market.
The runners-up in the awards are husband and wife team Paul & Tracy Lawrie (both 29), owners of Anderson Optometrists Ltd in Kirkcaldy. Mr & Mrs Lawrie have been able to establish a high reputation for excellent service in a very competitive market and now employ seven staff to manage their growing clientele. George Sneddon from Economic development at Fife Council presented Mr & Mrs Lawrie with their runner’s up prizes of £500 cash and a certificate.
Both the winner and the runner-up received funding, advice and support from PSYBT, which during the last twenty years, has supported some 11,000 young people to start almost 9,000 businesses, providing £31.7million in funding and additional assistance.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, in the College’s St Brycedale Campus in Kirkcaldy, PSYBT regional manager, Fiona Turnbull said, “Both companies have demonstrated drive, ambition and enthusiasm for taking good ideas and transforming them into successful, thriving businesses. We wish them every success in the future.”
Ken Munro from Babcock added, “Youth enterprise is something to be recognised and applauded, as these young people are helping themselves, their local community and the economy. These Awards are essential in encouraging a culture that values business ambition and innovation and we are delighted to support PSYBT in creating this entrepreneurial environment.”
The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare advisor, Richard Clifford, who was named Fife’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 Clifford will go forward and have the chance of winning the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals in November.
Adam Smith College were delighted to host the PSYBT Awards event. Guests attending were warmly welcomed by Shirley Scott, Vice-Principal.
For further information contact, PSYBT Regional Manager, Fiona Turnbull on 0141 01592858334 or Margaret Gibson and Louise Moore at PSYBT head office on Tel no. 0141 248 4999. Visit the PSYBT WEBSITE at www.psybt.org.uk
Contact: Jen Nash
Phone: 07971 466 220