FITNESS expert Steven Reynolds is named Lanarkshire’s top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2012 Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.
The 25 year-old founder of Micro Fitness from Glasgow was announced as the regional winner at a ceremony in Motherwell FC. He was presented with a £1000 cash prize by Anne Clyde, Area Manager of UK Steel Enterprise Ltd (UKSE) – a subsidiary of Tata Steel and sponsors of the winner’s award. Mr Reynolds 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.
Steven approached Youth Business Scotland at the end of 2009 for a Market Test Grant in order to make sure his idea was viable. He then secured a loan from Youth Business Scotland and launched Micro Fitness in August 2010 with the sole purpose of providing a mobile gym to schools as an after school club. Within a matter of months Steven saw a greater potential to develop the company into a fully comprehensive fitness firm targeting schools, youth groups, private parties and commercial organisations.
He extended his service offering to include yoga, zumba, martial arts, educational tutorials, box fit, scooter fitness, glee club and contacted individual Councils in order to set up appointments with key contacts in primary schools. Despite having a very small marketing budget he grew his client list to include 33 schools and organisations in his first year of business and over 120 in his second year, covering 14 councils across Scotland.
Steven now employs ten part-time members of staff and eight subcontract instructors. This summer he introduced a summer school initiative in Cumbernauld providing affordable day care for parents as well as an active fun environment for children for around 200 children a week.
The ultimate goal is to establish Micro Fitness as the UK’s leading fitness company and future plans include a move to expand into other regions where he has found a demand for his service. Steven is also very aware of the benefits of social media and is looking to create a You Tube channel in order to promote his company.
The runner-up is Lauren Murray, the 28 year-old founder of Murray Recruitment based in Eurocentral. Murray Recruitment specialises in commercial recruitment including accounts/finance, clerical/secretarial, customer service, HR and procurement roles. The company supplies temporary, permanent and contract solutions to clients in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Stirling and Edinburgh. Lauren started her business in 2010 with a phone and a small office. She now employs two members of staff, has numerous regular clients, and is looking to move to a bigger premises to accommodate her expansion. Future plans are to become the best agency in terms of providing superior customer service in Lanarkshire, and to broaden her business areas, starting with the engineering market.
Both the winner and the runner-up received funding, advice and support from Youth Business Scotland, which during the last twenty three years, has supported over 13,000 young people to start over 10,500 businesses, providing £37.8 million in funding and additional assistance.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Youth Business Scotland regional manager, Lyndsey Little 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.”
Anne Clyde of UKSE added: “These Awards are essential in encouraging a culture that values business ambition and innovation which fits perfectly with the goals of UK Steel Enterprise. It is a pleasure to support the Youth Business Scotland Awards and celebrate and encourage the entrepreneurs of the future.”
The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare adviser, Ellen Byers who was named Lanarkshire’s regional Volunteer of the Year. A Youth Business Scotland 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. Ms Byers will go forward and have the chance of winning the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals in November.
Issued on behalf of Youth Business Scotland by Jen Nash, Panache Communications t. 07971 466 220 e. firstname.lastname@example.org For further information contact, Youth Business Scotland Regional Manager, Lyndsey Little on tel. 01236 702020 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.