The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 30 August 2008

The hunt is on to find Scotland’s best young entrepreneurs

THE Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) has launched a nationwide search for Scotland’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008.

Recognised as one of the country’s most prestigious business awards, the winner is selected from over 700 of Scotland’s most ambitious young people who set up their businesses with support from PSYBT.

Over the last 12 months, PSYBT has assisted 579 new businesses across Scotland by awarding £2.1 million in loans and grants.

[Pictured: Louise McDonald, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007.]

Last year’s winner Louise McDonald, 27, set up her first women-only health and fitness club, Curves, in Motherwell in 2004. Since then she has opened 3 new franchises and has over 2000 members. In addition to her Curves business, Louise is also growing her property portfolio and pursuing opportunities in other business sectors.

Commenting on what winning the award has meant to her, Louise said: “Winning the award was so overwhelming. It has created so much brand awareness for the businesses and has really helped Curves go from strength to strength. The publicity generated from winning the award has opened so many doors for me in my professional life and has given me confidence to move forward into new areas of business. The last year has been so exciting and I look forward to the future and the challenges that lie ahead.”

Launching the new countrywide search, Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust chief executive Mark Strudwick said: “These awards are our opportunity to congratulate and celebrate the young entrepreneurs we are able to support each year. They represent some of Scotland’s most talented and dedicated young people and are a great inspiration. Despite today’s difficult economic climate, many young people across Scotland are taking up the challenge and committing themselves to managing and building their own businesses. As a result, they are responsible for creating some of Scotland’s most successful companies and are contributing not only to their local communities but the nation as a whole.”

Eighteen regional events to select six coveted finalists will take place across Scotland throughout September. The Ayrshire regional awards, which are being sponsored by The Barcapel Foundation are taking place on Monday 8 September. Those winners will be considered for the national final of the PSYBT Business Awards which take place on 17 November at the Barony Hall in Glasgow.

PSYBT was launched in January 1989 and is a national organisation with offices in 18 Regions across Scotland. To date 8620 (10,209 proprietors) businesses have been assisted with £31.2m awarded - £27.8m in loans (89%) and £3.4m in grants (11%).

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