The Trowbridge Town Team this week announced the Hitachi “Inspire the Next…” Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner at their Hitachi’s headquarters at Hakuba House. The award, judged by local business people within Trowbridge, recognised the outstanding passion, commitment and dedication of the young entrepreneurs that had demonstrated customer service excellence and commercial awareness in their businesses.
The award, the first of its kind run by the Trowbridge Town Team, was conceived to recognise the commitment and success of young entrepreneurs who took part in the inaugural Trowbridge Teenage Market (part of the Teenage Market Project) in October 2014; with the winner taking away a cash prize of £500.
In January this year, young fashion designer Kieran Mceleny (Diamond – Days), Hannah McBride (Miss Rosina’s Curiosity Cabinet), and Zita Hooper (Music Index); were joined by fellow finalists greeting card designer Leona Curtis (Leona Curtis Design), fashion accessory maker Maxine Aldridge (Buttons and Bows Boutique) and SuperCrafts – a market stall devised by a group of young people selling handmade crafts and bird boxes to raise funds for Larkrise Community Farm, a Trowbridge based charity, were put through their paces by a judging panel made up of representatives from the local business community. Len Turner Head Judge was very impressed by the standard of the entrants and their enthusiasm for their businesses.
It was certainly smiles all-round for the winner of the coveted award; Maxine Aldridge from Buttons and Bows Boutique; who showed the judges her passion and enthusiasm for her business but also a strong business plan for the future and a clear goal of where she wished to invest her prize money to ensure future success for her hand-made hair accessory business.
The delivery of excellent customer service at the Trowbridge Teenage Market was also celebrated; with the three winners taking away holiday vouchers and £100 cash prizes in recognition of going “above and beyond” for their customers.
The Trowbridge Town Team want to thank all of the local businesses and community groups; because without the support of Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions, Wiltshire Council, Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce, Castle Place Shopping Centre, Howard Travel, Trowbridge Town Council, Trowbridge Arts, Youth Development for Young People, St. James’ Parish Church (Trowbridge), Active Trowbridge and the Youth Development Service, this programme would not have been possible.
David Baker, Chair of the Trowbridge Town Team said “it is amazing what young people can achieve through local business help and support. The Teenage Market gave them a platform to gain experience and knowledge. We are intending to organise further Teenage Markets and hopefully will continue with the Young Entrepreneur Award, which would never have happened without the vision and support of Jon Lawes MD of Hitachi Commercial Vehicles. To support the finalists and other young people a business development programme called WOW (World of Work) is commencing in March and will run until the end of the year. Local businesses and entrepreneurs will be giving their advice, expertise and experiences’ throughout the programme. I would also like to recognise the work put in by Ellie Gill our Market Manager”.
Emma Roberts; Chair of the Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce and White Horse Employment’s Support Services Manager, was one of the judges and was truly inspired by those who took part. “The quality of awards entrants, showcased the talented young business owners who are right on our doorstep. Supporting small businesses within the community will see success in the future for the local economy and these young people are the leaders that will take us there. I was very honoured to be asked to judge these young people; and they certainly reminded me that as our businesses grow, we should never lose sight of the passion, enthusiasm and sheer grit to succeed that these young people have demonstrated time and time again. Well done to them all”.