DOMESTIC plumbing and heating engineer Craig McAuley is named Glasgow’s top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2012 The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.
The 24 year-old founder of Hova Plumbing in Rutherglen was announced as regional winner at a ceremony in Sloans Bar & Restaurant in Glasgow today. He was presented with a £1,000 cash prize by Jenny Wallace from DADA and Itison, sponsors of the winner’s award. Mr McAuley 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.
Craig McAuley left school and worked in McDonalds for a year before being offered an apprenticeship in plumbing and heating.
The apprenticeship lasted four years and, on the day he qualified, Craig was given his redundancy notice. While this might have been a devastating blow for some, Craig took the alternative view and saw it has his opportunity to start working for himself.
He spent the next three months working in a garden centre to earn some extra money and then approached Youth Business Scotland for a loan to start his business.
Today, Hova Plumbing provide a full range of plumbing services to bespoke bathroom installations, as well as annual gas safety checks and landlord inspections.
Earlier this year, Craig set up a sister company called The Boiler Change Company specialising in the installation of new high efficiency environmentally friendly boilers and heating systems at affordable prices. Both companies are trading very successfully and Craig hopes to expand his business further towards the end of this year, with the help of his cousin who is about to complete his apprenticeship with Hova Ltd, and two additional heating engineers that Craig would like to recruit into the business.
The runner-up is 27 year-old Becky White, founder of Becky White PR, based in Hope St, Glasgow.
Becky studied Film and Media Studies at Stirling University. During her final year she worked part time as a sales advisor in Schuh, and was persuaded to apply for the position of PR Assistant. Becky was appointed to the role and has never looked back. From Schuh, she went to work at a boutique PR agency in Glasgow and worked at London Fashion Week and high profile music events.
Three years ago, Becky decided to start her own PR agency specialising in fashion and lifestyle and approached Youth Business Scotland for funding assistance.
Her application was successful and she launched Becky White PR. Since Summer 2011, Becky White PR has gone from strength to strength. Their client portfolio has increased significantly and the agency has been asked to collaborate with several London agencies. Future plans include expanding her team, and doubling her turnover in the next 12 months. A representative from Glasgow City Council presented Becky with a £500 cash prize and runners-up certificate.
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 £37.8million in funding and additional assistance.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Youth Business Scotland regional manager Sarah Scace 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.”
Jenny Wallace of DADA Itison added: “These Awards are essential in encouraging a culture that values business ambition and innovation and we are delighted to support Youth Business Scotland in creating this entrepreneurial environment.”
The regional awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare adviser, Alex McCullagh, who was named Glasgow’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. 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.
Issued on behalf of Youth Business Scotland by Jen Nash, Panache Communications t. 07971 466 220 e. email@example.com For further information contact, Youth Business Scotland Regional Manager, Sarah Scace on tel. 0141 572 8370 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.
Craig McAuley, The Boiler Change Company, www.the boilerchangecompany.co.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org 0141 222 9667
Becky White, Becky White PR, www.beckywhite-pr.com, email@example.com, 0141 227 6786