West Lothian top young entrepreneurs win youth business award

MUSICIAN, David Cook,  has been named West Lothian’s top young entrepreneur at the 2012 The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.

The 27 year-old founder of D.C Music in Whitburn was announced as regional winner at a ceremony at Deans Community High School in Livingston last night. He was presented with a £1,000 cash prize by West Lothian council leader, Councillor John McGinty, whose Business Gateway service sponsored the awards. David will now be considered by the judging panel to be entered into the national final taking place at Glasgow’s City Chambers on Tuesday 13th November 2012.

David Cook launched D.C Music in the summer of 2010 after working as a sound engineer for a period of two years. While gaining important skills as a sound engineer, David played in a brass band and was also offering his services as a guitar tutor. All the while his ambition was to start his own music business and in July 2010, with the support of his family he opened his own music store in the West Lothian town of Whitburn.

Specialising in a range of band instruments, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, amplifiers and sound reinforcement products, including a well stocked accessory department, David caters for the needs of beginners as well as experienced musicians.

After two years, David expanded the business and he now also provides technical expertise and advice to his growing customer base. His plans for the future include setting up an online store and building his reputation locally, nationally and internationally.

The runner-up is 25 year-old Christopher Brown, founder of Brown & Co Properties Ltd in Whitburn. Brown & Co properties Ltd is an independent estate and letting agency established by Chris in the early part of 2011. When he launched the business it was his intention to focus his energies on the estate agency service. The depressed housing market and the fact that Chris was new to the market gave the business a particularly challenging launch period. Determined that his new business venture would succeed, he decided to diversify his activities to include a letting agency service.

Property sales and turnover is increasing steadily and Brown & Co Properties is becoming a recognisable brand in property letting. Chris is now qualified as a mortgage adviser and estate agent and he is working towards his residential letting award. Alice Sinnet, Economic Development Manager at West Lothian Council presented Christopher Brown with a cash prize of £500 and a runner’s-up certificate.

West Lothian Provost proposed a vote of thanks to the sponsors, Business Gateway and to the volunteers in West Lothian who give generously of their time and expertise to support the young business people supported by the trust.

Both the winner and the runner-up received funding, advice and support from Youth Business Scotland, which during the last 23 years, has supported over 13,000 young people to start over 10,500 businesses, providing £37.8million in funding and additional assistance.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Fiona McRobbie representing Youth Business Scotland regional chairman, Sue Cook said: “These young entrepreneurs represent some of the most talented, creative and dedicated business people in Scotland today and we are delighted to be able to recognise and reward their achievements through these awards.”

The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare advisor, Charles McCullagh, who was named West Lothian’s regional Volunteer of the Year. The Youth Business Scotland regional manager working in partnership with the Business Gateway Service 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 McCullagh will go forward and have the chance of winning the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals in November.

Ends

Issued on behalf of Youth Business Scotland by Jen Nash, Panache Communications t. 07971 466 220 e. jen@panachecommunications.co.uk For further information contact, Youth Business Scotland Regional Manager, Malcolm Evans on tel. 01506 283 088 or Margaret Gibson/Louise Moore at Youth Business Scotland head office on Tel no. 0141 248 4999.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) is now known as The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland and is part of The Prince’s Trust.

David Cook, D.C Music, www.dcmusicshop.com, dcmusicstore@gmail.com, 01501 228 373 Christopher Brown, Brown & Co Properties Ltd, www.brownandcoproperties.co.uk, enquiries@brownandcoproperties.co.uk, 01501 741 222

Contact: Jen Nash
Phone: 07971466220
Email: jen@panachecommunications.co.uk
Website: http://www.panachecommunications.co.uk