Graham Brown from Renfrew is one of a growing number of young entrepreneurs who are bucking the national trend and realising their self employment ambitions.
When Graham (27) told friends he was considering starting his own paving and landscaping business in February last year, they thought he was wasting his time.
“Apart from my fiancée who was very supportive, everyone said setting up a new business during a recession wasn’t a good idea,” said Graham, founder of Victoria Driveways.
The Renfrew entrepreneur is one of more than 700 18-25 year olds who applied to the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) last year for funding which, says the charity, represents a 20 per cent increase on applications received during 2008.
By contrast, statistics revealed last month by the Committee of Scottish Clearing Banks, showed the numbers of start-up businesses in Scotland had fallen by 16 per cent during 2009.
“I always wanted to start my own business,” said Graham, who runs his business from his home in Corseford, “but I couldn’t get an apprenticeship when I left school. So I accepted an offer from a landscaping business instead and steadily built up my knowledge and expertise over ten years.”
Undeterred by suggestions that he should stay where he was, by late 2008 the young entrepreneur was ambitious to start his own paving, decking, driveways and landscaping services business.
He approached PSYBT to seek advice in preparing a business plan and find out what financial assistance was available and was nominated to receive funding from the BT Scotland Young E-ntrepreneurs awards scheme. The scheme is focused on encouraging young people to use e-commerce to boost their start-up companies. Through the scheme, which is now in its tenth year, BT Scotland has invested more than £400,000 in supporting new Scottish businesses.
Graeme added: “PSYBT and BT were very helpful in providing me with the extra knowledge I needed and giving me the confidence to go ahead with my plans to become my own boss. In the last year I’ve learned a lot, the business is performing well and I am confident it will continue to thrive as the economic situation improves.”
Brendan Dick, director at BT Scotland, said: “Graham took a brave decision to leave a steady job and launch his own business knowing only too well the difficult economic climate in which he would have to operate. He has shown great commitment to growing his business, using his web site as a visual platform to reach potential customers. It’s an excellent showcase of his work and we wish him well for the future.”
Commending his success to date, Barrie Stobo, PSYBT Paisley regional chairman, said: “Graham is doing really well in his first year of business and that is down to his commitment, enthusiasm and energy in providing a professional service to clients and attracting new business. He knew that there was an opportunity for him to set up his own business in his home town and he has demonstrated that even during a recession, entrepreneurial ambitions can flourish.”
Issued by Jen Nash of Panache Communications, Tel. no: 07971 466 220, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information contact the BT Scotland press office: 0800 0850 660 or Margaret Gibson and Louise Moore of PSYBT on 0141 248 4999. You can also check out the PSYBT website at www.psybt.org.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information visit www.vistoriadriveways.co.uk or t. 07828 302 680