Greg Clarkson and Allan Whitson are named Lanarkshire’s top young entrepreneurs at the regional finals of the 2010 Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) Awards.
The joint founders of XL Tec Recruitment, based in Cumbernauld, were announced as regional winners at a ceremony at The Atrium Business Centre in Coatbridge on Friday. They were presented with a £1000 cash prize by Anne Clyde, Area Manager of UK Steel Enterprise Ltd, sponsors of the winner’s award. The pair will now be considered by the judging panel to be entered into the national final, taking place at Glasgow’s City Chambers on Tuesday 16th November 2010. Six of the 18 regional winners are selected to compete for the coveted national title of PSYBT ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and the opportunity to win an additional £2000.
Greg Clarkson (27) and Allan Whitson (31) founded XL Tec Recruitment in July 2008. From a recruitment background, their initial plan was to specialise in both the construction and facility management sectors, supplying permanent and temporary staff. However, both industries were badly affected by the recession and therefore they decided to focus their efforts on the oil and gas industry. XL Tec now has a loyal client base including Transocean, Maersk, Aban, Dolphin and Petroserv. Ninety five percent of the company’s business comes from overseas and they provide staff to drilling contractors all over the world. The pair has recently opened an office in India employing a local specialist and hope to employ six consultants within the next 18 months.
The runner-up is Chris McBride (23), also from Cumbernauld,who set up Devonto Ltd in 2009. Mr McBride started repairing computers while he was at university to earn a bit more money and do something that he enjoyed. After graduating with a first class honours degree in Internet Programming, he decided to launch Devonto. Chris offers a complete solution for SME’s looking to have a presence on the Internet, from registering a dot com to web hosting and email systems. Counting Clyde FC among his longstanding clients, the IT entrepreneur prides himself on keeping up to date with new trends and cutting edge technology and this is reflected in his loyal client base. Tom Curly, Provost for North Lanarkshire Council presented Mr McBride with a £500 cash prize and runners-up certificate.
Both the winner and the runner-up received funding, advice and support from PSYBT, which during the last twenty one years has supported almost 12,000 young people to start almost 10,000 businesses, providing £34.8million in funding and additional assistance.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, PSYBT Regional Manager, Lyndsey Little said, “Our regional finalists have demonstrated ambition, courage and determination to set up and develop their own businesses. Youth enterprise is something to be recognised and applauded and we wish them all the best for the national final.”
Anne Clyde of UK Steel Enterprise Limited added, “We are delighted to support PSYBT and these awards which recognise the achievements of Scotland’s young people and encourage an environment that celebrates business innovation. Entrepreneurship is essential to our future prosperity, not just in the Lanarkshire region but throughout Scotland.”
The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of Aftercare Advisor, Tom Byrne, who was named Lanarkshire Regional Volunteer of the Year. A PSYBT 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. Mr Byrne will go forward and have the chance of winning the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals in November.
For further information contact, PSYBT Regional Manager, Lyndsey Little on tel. 01236 702020 or Margaret Gibson/Emma Fitzpatrick at PSYBT head office on Tel no. 0141 248 4999. Visit the PSYBT WEBSITE at www.psybt.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS
Name: Greg Clarkson & Allan Whitson
Company: XLTec Recruitment
Website address: www.xltecrecruitment.co.uk
Mobile: 07590774745 / 07843565631
Name: Chris McBride
Company: Devonto Ltd
Website address: www.devonto.com
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 07901 655052