Four young entrepreneurs were recognised for their vision and e-commerce skills last night at the BT Scotland Young E-ntrepreneurs Awards in Edinburgh.
Organised by the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT), the BT Scotland Young E-ntrepreneurs Awards recognise and reward the ‘Most Visionary’, ‘Best Website’, ‘Best E-Commerce’ and ‘Most Environmentally Responsible’ businesses from the group of recipients who benefited from the BT Scotland Young E-ntrepreneurs funding scheme during 2009.
At last night’s awards, vintage fashion designer Gillian Parker, founder of Sew Vintage was announced as the winner of the Most Visionary Business award and presented with a £1,000 cash prize. Specialising in affordably-chic, eclectic ranges of ladies and men’s fashions, her spacious boutique in Gourock in Inverclyde is a treasure trove of quirky clothing, shoes and accessories. Gillian also sells her own womanswear brand, Molly Pippins, with styles and fabrics inspired by the vintage retro look. Gillian formed her business in July 2009 thanks to funding from PSYBT and the BT Scotland Young E-ntrepreneurs scheme, which she invested in the design of her website and online shop.
In the last nine years, BT Scotland has invested more than £400,000 in the Young E-ntrepreneurs programme, helping over 130 young people to start-up in businesses. The funding programme encourages PSYBT-backed business start-ups to embrace electronic means of doing business and use the internet to deliver new markets, with support through grants and loans.
Lucy McGonigle from Glasgow was awarded Most Environmentally Responsible Business and a £750 cash prize for her eco-cleaning firm, Mrs Magoo. Lucy, 26, set up Mrs Magoo after being made redundant from her flight attendant job in 2008. She saw a gap in the market for a high quality domestic cleaning company that only uses eco-friendly, recyclable, non-toxic cleaning products for the benefit of customers’ health, homes and the environment. Lucy is now expanding her services to include offices and aims to build a recognisable brand for her business.
Greg Allison from Edinburgh received a cash prize of £750 and an award for Best Ecommerce Business. Greg decided to cut the cost of car repairs for other motorists by creating his own online business, www.garages4you.com enabling customers to book their MOT tests with a local network of service stations online at exclusive discounted prices. Inspired by Kwik-Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer, Greg’s business has grown to become the largest online retailer of MOT and servicing in the UK. Earlier this year he received further PSYBT development funding which helped him to launch MacSams tyres, which offers locally fitted tyres at discounted online prices across the UK.
Winner of the Best Website and £750 cash prize went to promising young Glasgow designer, Lauren Anderson, founder of Sparkle Candy. Lauren gave up a promising retail and design career, to specialise in sourcing vintage glam and rock-inspired jewellery brands which she sells through her online jewellery boutique, www.sparklecandy.co.uk. Lauren’s aim is to bring together the best selection of fashion jewellery from around the world to her website. Disney Couture, Anna Lou, Butler & Wilson are some of the other famous vintage brands which Lauren says are enjoying huge popularity.
Brendan Dick, director at BT Scotland, said “Gillian is a worthy winner – not only does she have great creative talent but she has created a stunning website that is a fantastic visual showcase for her work. She is also marketing her company really well online and using her site intelligently to promote her ranges and engage with her customers. All of our young e-Entrepreneurs are demonstrating new and imaginative ways to exploit and develop applications and technologies for their individual uses and to expand their markets.”
Mark Strudwick, Chief Executive of the PSYBT, added: “The initiative with BT Scotland has flourished over the last nine years and has enabled us to help many of Scotland’s young entrepreneurs to take the first steps towards successful self-employment. Scotland has a wealth of young people who are ambitious, talented and want to work for themselves, and thanks to the investment from BT over the last nine years we are able to help as many as possible to set up and grow their businesses. ”
Issued on behalf by PSYBT Jen Nash, Panache Communications tel. 07971 466 220 Email Jen@panachecommunications.co.uk. For further information contact the BT Scotland press office: 0800 085 0660 or Margaret Gibson or Louise Moore of PSYBT on 0141 248 4999. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the PSYBT website at www.psybt.org.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Photographs: Free Photography from Malcolm Cochrane tel. 07971 835 065 e. email@example.com accompanies this release.
Contact Lauren Anderson on www.sparklecandy.co.uk or email Lauren Anderson on Lauren@sparklecandy.co.uk
Contact Gillian Parker on 01475 638388
Contact Lucy McGonigle on 0141 332 6938