Ronnie Hook & Richard Fowle are named Borders’ top young entrepreneurs at the regional finals of the 2010 Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.
The co-founders of Benchmark Motor Company in Selkirk were announced as regional winners at a ceremony at Bowhill Little Theatre in Selkirk today. They were presented with a £1000 cash prize by John Glen, chief executive of The Buccleuch Group, sponsors of the winner’s award. They 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.
Business partners Richard Fowle (30) and Ronnie Hook (23) established Benchmark Motor Company in August 2008 offering MOTs, trailer fabrication and repairs, tyres, exhausts and health checks. Despite having started up a new business in the midst of a recession, the company is performing well and has benefited from a growing clientele. Benchmark Motor Company also looks after fleet vehicles for a number of firms in the area and has recently branched into buying, repairing, selling cars.
The runner-up is David Telford who started his business called Telford’s Forestry Contracting in February 2008. Based in St Boswell’s, Telford’s Forestry Contracting covers a multitude of forestry work, including chainsaw work, pesticide spraying, vermin control, tree planting and forestry maintenance work. The 22 year old employs a squad of between 5 to 7 men and his reputation for excellence and value for money has ensured a loyal and growing client base throughout the Borders. Mr Telford is always looking for new opportunities to expand the business and more recently he has introduced pole saws so he can enhance his services to clients. A representative from the Scottish Borders Council presented Mr Telford 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 over 10,000 businesses, providing £31.5million in funding and additional assistance.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, PSYBT regional manager, Tara Bolland 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.”
Mr Glen of The Buccleuch Group 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 Borders region but throughout Scotland.”
The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare advisor, Ted Ferguson, who was named Borders’ 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 Ferguson 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, Tara Bolland on tel 01750 505018 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
Ronnie Hook & Richard Fowle
Benchmark Motor Company
Telford’s Forestry Contracting