A young entrepreneur from Drumchapel who refused to take no for an answer was named ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) awards ceremony in Glasgow last night.
Patrick McDonald (20) founder of Superior Catering & Leisure beat off competition from hundreds of PSYBT backed businesses from all over Scotland who were eligible for this year’s ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award, held at Glasgow City Chambers.
Patrick McDonald was 18 years old when he decided he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He was working for a local catering van and made it his goal to learn everything he could about the business. He spent months researching the industry and networking with other business owners, suppliers, event organisers to establish a database of useful contacts that he knew he would one day need to start his own mobile catering business.
Patrick frequently encountered resistance from people who found it difficult to believe that someone in their teens could take on such an ambitious project. He was even turned away by lenders who told him he was too young to go into business. The plucky teenager remained undeterred however and at the start of last year, a meeting with Glasgow Regeneration Agency led to a referral to PSYBT for funding and business support. Today, McDonald employs 7 staff at busy times and runs a highly profitable business, which caters at many prestigious events throughout the UK, including Music Festivals, Horseshows, Country Fairs and Gala Days. His plans for next year mean he will have several other mobile units to allow the business to continue it’s steady growth.
The runner-up was Mark Greenaway, founder of MGB Services Ltd in Airdrie. Mr Greenaway (27) worked in the building maintenance trade for 10 years prior to establishing his own facilities management firm at the start of last year. Specialising in electrical and mechanical service and repairs using only fully qualified engineers and experienced sub contractors, Mr Greenaway has built up a successful business. Many of his clients are well established firms who want to benefit from the security of having all their essential maintenance requirements, planned as well as emergency call outs, provided by an experienced company who understands their business needs.
The awards ceremony, which is now in its sixteenth year, was attended by nearly 300 members of the business community and Michelle Mone OBE, co-owner of MJM International and creator of Ultimo, the UK’s leading designer lingerie brand gave the keynote speech of the evening. Mrs Mone is herself a recipient of start up funding from the charity when she launched in 1997 and now serves on the Board of Directors.
Presenting the winners with their awards and cheques for £2000 and £1500, Michelle Mone, said, “All our finalists tonight have shown determination, ambition and fortitude to succeed in business, no matter what challenges they face. Self belief is another import ingredient for business success and our winner tonight has proved that too, making him an outstanding entrepreneur and a worthy winner of this fantastic award.”
Mark Strudwick, chief executive of the PSYBT said, “We congratulate our winners on their success tonight, they are shining examples to other young people and we wish them well with their future endeavours.”
A special award was also given to the PSYBT ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and this was won by Renfrew businessman John McDougall, who was selected from almost 800 PSYBT volunteers across Scotland. Mr McDougall, who lives in Barrhead and is involved in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures, started volunteering for the Paisley PSYBT team in 2005 as an aftercare advisor. Congratulating him, Mr Strudwick said, “Mr McDougall generously gives his time, experience and energy to help many young people hone their business skills and run successful businesses. We are delighted to present him with this special award.”
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Alternatively please contact Margaret Gibson or Louise Moore on Tel no. 0141 248 4999 or visit the PSYBT website at www.psybt.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS
Contact Patrick McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org, 07773048476
Contact Mark Greenaway, MGB Services Ltd, email@example.com, telephone Number: 01236 830930, Mobile Phone Number : 07801 609301.