Teenage business owner Eve Lodge is heading back to South Wales in April – after being named as one of the ‘Aspiring Entrepreneur’ finalists in the national Making Business Happen Awards.
Sixteen-years-old Barnsley lass Eve, who is in the first year of A Level study at Shelley College, West Yorkshire, remains in the running for the top £10,000 cash in her category – after impressing the judges with her Barmy pitch on Friday, February 13.
The ‘bunting Queen’ was up against six other ‘teams’ in the Aspiring Entrepreneur section, but her lively, personable presentation (see picture below) clearly ticked the boxes of the judges – and has catapulted her into the final.
Said Eve: “I loved doing the pitch. The whole experience was fantastic and when I received the phone call to say that I had been successful and was through to the final and the awards ceremony, well to say I was happy is a bit of an understatement!
“I’ll be flying the flag for myself, my Barmy business, my family, my hometown of Barnsley and Shelley College near Huddersfield. You might as well say the whole of Yorkshire and the North!”
“I believe passionately in my business – and the future of Barmy – and that passion and determination, together with a solid business plan, will hopefully take me where I want to go.”
Two of the other ‘Aspiring Entrepreneur’ finalists come from Wales, where the competition originates, while the fourth finalist is a team from Frome College in Somerset.
Barnsley girl Eve, who does not turn 17 until March 1, is one of the youngest.
Organised by The University of South Wales, the Making Business Happen Awards were set up to recognise graduates of UK universities who have gone on to start their own successful and growing businesses using the skills and knowledge gained whilst studying.
Overall there are four categories of the Making Business Happen Awards:
- Graduate Start-Up Award (open to UK businesses that have been in operation for less than three years).
- SME Business Growth Award (open to medium-sized businesses, founded by UK graduates, that have been in operation for a minimum of three years).
- Aspiring Entrepreneurs Award (open to school and college students across the UK).
- USW Entrepreneurs Challenge (open to current University of South Wales students or students of partner colleges).
Award winners in the Aspiring Entrepreneurs section will receive a cash prize (shared evenly between the individual or team members of the winning entries and their school or college), of: £10,000 (Winner), £3,000 (Second Prize), £2,000 (Third Prize).
Plus, the award winner will get a comprehensive business support and mentoring package for one year including:
- A dedicated business mentor from the South Wales Business School
- Legal advice (IP) from Legal Clinic Team
- Finance advice from category sponsor
- Enterprise/Business workshop for School/College
The Making Business Happen 2015 awards ceremony will take place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on Thursday, April 16. The winners of all awards will be announced during the ceremony.