PRAISE was heaped on the area’s young entrepreneurs at an awards ceremony last week.
Presentations were made to winners in the Borders section of the Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland awards and Berwickshire was well represented.
Top spot went to Lesley Landels who owns and operates The Honey Pot boutique in Hawick High Street.
The Heriot-Watt textile design graduate formerly worked with Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Johnston’s of Elgin. She will now be considered for entry into the national final which takes place in Glasgow in November.
The runner-up place went to Lucy Fitch, owner of Harmony - a beauty, massage and tanning clinic in Exchange Street, Jedburgh. She launched her business in March this year.
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
The awards also recognised the expertise, mentoring advice and inspiration of aftercare adviser Kevin Mills, from Birgham, who was named 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 Mills will go forward and have the chance of winning the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals.
Paul Brotherston from Greenlaw and Ewan Galloway from Coldingham both won Merit Awards.
Youth Business Scotland regional manager Tara Bolland commented: “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 their achievements.”
Stephen Vickers of main sponsors The Buccleuch Group 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.”